Despite the rain, crowds gathered in Blackham Coliseum for Lafayette Strong: Unite. Honor. Heal. Created by Lafayette Consolidated Government as a tribute to the community after the Grand Theatre shootings, residents, law enforcement and civic leaders alike amassed in a show of solidarity. Musicians performed, prayers were sought and speakers, including Mayor Joey Durel and bereaved mother Dondie Breaux, took the stage. “I think we’re still finding our way,” said Sen. Fred Mills. Standing firm in the face of adversity were District Attorney Keith Stutes, University of Louisiana at Lafayette President E.J. Savoie, Maj. Becket Breaux and Officers Floyd Antley and Joe Caillet.

Patricia Gannon covers society for The Acadiana Advocate. She can be reached at or at