WEST READING, Pa. (WHTM) — As the communities of Reading and West Reading are still in mourning after the explosion that destroyed part of the R.M. Palmer Factory, both communities will be hosting a joint community event to honor the victims of those who were impacted by the tragedy.

“As such, I and Council President Ryan Lineaweaver, alongside City of Reading leadership, invite the community to attend a candlelight vigil in honor of the victims. Friday, March 31, at 7:30 pm, at the West Reading Fire Department, located at 223 Playground Drive in West Reading and footbridge leading into the City of Reading. We will be accompanied by local religious leaders and speak to the importance of unity and community support in tragic times like this.” said Mayor Samantha Kaag.

“Local community activist Ms. Shayka Yarira Del Rio reached out to Mayor Kaag and me with the idea of a united community event. Many others have since reached out to us both, either suggesting or requesting an opportunity to come together in the victims’ honor,” stated Mayor Moran. “In the wake of this heartbreaking event, this is needed. As I often say, we are each other’s neighbors, and as a community, we need to mourn, honor, and support one another. “

All members of the community are invited to join us for the solemn event to show support for those affected. The only speakers at this event will be local religious leaders, to lead prayer and reverence for those affected.  

A memorial area will be on the West Reading side of the walking bridge for those who want to bring flowers, pictures, or other mementos in honor of the victims.