Thursday night was a somber night in Kissimmee, and as Mayor Jose Alvarez shared early in the evening, his heart was broken, but he had hope for tomorrow.

The candlelight vigil for Sergeant Richard “Sam” Howard and Officer Matthew Baxter was held at the corner of Dakin and Broadway from 8pm Thursday night and was filled with a people standing together in community and in one accord… to honor their lost KPD heroes, to celebrate their selfless lives and to raise funds for the families now left behind.

Individuals from all over the community gathered together waiting for the vigil to begin with anticipation and open hearts. Kissimmee Mayor Jose Alvarez and and Osceola County Commissioner Cheryl Grieb were among the crowd showing leadership, support and solidarity as everyone focused on honoring the KPD heroes who were senselessly slain nearly one week ago.

Prayer vigil candles were handed out to those who needed a candle for the ceremony, which was filled with a song of refection, reference and gratitude.

Pastor Tim Wilder, Senior Pastor of First Baptist of Kissimmee, was invited to speak at the gathering to bring solace and closure to the hurting crowd, hoping to ease their pain and brighten their spirits.

Despite the terrible loss of Sgt. Sam Howard and Officer Matthew Baxter, the community of Kissimmee is strong, united and is filled with hope for tomorrow and beyond.