Hundreds gather at Loring Park for 10-year anniversary of Matthew Shepard's death
Hundreds gathered at a candlelight vigil in Minneapolis' Loring Park on Monday Oct. 7 to remember the 10-year anniversary of Matthew Shepard's death, reported the Star Tribune.
The crowd was mostly silent, surrounded by a group of people dressed as angels with towering wings. Judy Shepard, Matthew's mother, spoke to the crowd in Loring Park and said, "Things are going to get better. As my husband, Dennis, says, 'It's been 10 years of change, but no progress."
On Oct. 7, 1998, Shepard, a 21-year-old gay college student, was taken to a remote location outside of Laramie, Wyo., where he was beaten, pistol-whipped, tied to a fence post and left to die.
Shepard was not found for 18 hours and died on Oct. 12 at a hospital in Colorado. Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson were convicted in his murder and are serving life sentences.
Shepard's death drew international media attention and became a signal for change and tolerance toward the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community.
After the vigil in Loring Park, bagpipers led a processional of supporters out of the park to thw Woman's Club Theatre for a reading of "The Laramie Project," a play inspired by Shepard's death which chronicles the town's reaction to the attack.