A mix of emotions around the Marine Barracks

WASHINGTON – Even though the weather was beautiful, the mood outside the Marine Corps Barracks on Sunday in Southeast D.C. was solemn.

“Pretty somber, I would say,” said Amanda Robertson, of Arlington, as she passed by the barracks.

This is the first Sunday since 12 people were killed at the Washington Navy Yard, and some, like Robertson, lifted up the victims’ families in prayer.

She says she’s “just praying for comfort and strength to rest and hover over that place (the Navy Yard), strength for the families and comfort for them.” She adds, “It’s heart-wrenching. It’s just kind of surreal.”

Katherine Peacock, of Arlington, uses the same word – “It’s kind of surreal to be honest.” While driving into D.C. Sunday morning, she drove past the Navy Yard. “Wow, this just happened and it’s still new and still fresh,” she says. “It’s hard to believe it happens. And you hear about it and your heart breaks. It’s tragic.”

Nicole Poindexter, who lives in Northeast, says, “I really was struck with compassion. And love for the victims and their families, particularly in the last moments of their lives. And I pray for all of them and their families,” she says with an emotional heaviness in her voice.

Jason Alcantara and others feel the need to move on. He says, “It’s a pretty sad day. I think everyone in the community feels sad about what happened, so it’s a solemn day but you just try to deal with it.”

Billie Jo Huber is the manager of Molly Malone’s Restaurant, which is right across the street from the Marine Barracks. She says one of her regular customers died in the Navy Yard shootings.

“It’s a beautiful day,” Huber says, “and everyone is just trying to put their lives back together, get moving, get going.”

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