BRANSON, Mo. – Flags flew at half-staff Saturday at several buildings including hotels, motels and inns along the way to Table Rock Lake in Missouri to honor the 17 lives lost after Thursday’s horrific duck boat accident.
At the Welk Resort Hotel in Branson, four women stood quietly in a circle near the American flag, holding hands and praying for the victims of the tragedy, Fox News reports.
Among them were Tina Abraham, of Chicago; Tiffany Tuttle and Lisa Cardell, of New York; and Sandra Ingle, of Silver City, Missouri. None of the women knew the victims. They didn’t even know each other.
“It doesn’t matter,” Abraham told Fox News. “People come together when things like this happen. That could have been any one of us or our families on the duck [boat].”
“We saw [Abraham] standing there. Tears were in her eyes. We’re all mothers. We decided to come over,” Cardell said. “We didn’t know the people on the boat, but our hearts hurt for them.”
It was the same sentiment echoed Friday night by hundreds of mourners who attended impromptu vigils on the shore of Table Rock Lake, at the Brookside Church in Branson and at the Ride the Ducks parking lot.
“This has been my community for 10 years, so just hearing about it last night I felt completely helpless at home, not feeling like there’s anything I could do, so just coming out tonight was sort of my emotional way of showing support,” Alyssa Ambrosier told a reporter Friday. “Even though it’s not much I just felt like it was my way of being part of the community, sharing my heart however I could.”
Mayor Karen Best said her “community of smiles” has turned into a “town of tears” but said Branson is strong and will get through the tragedy that’s claimed so many lives.
The captain of the boat was among the 14 survivors, seven of whom were injured.
They should have worn life jackets.