About 100 people gathered outside the governor’s residence in St. Paul Sunday for a community vigil and to show solidarity with Syrian refugees seeking sanctuary in Minnesota.

The event, co-sponsored by Minnesotans for Syrian Refugees and the Committee in Solidarity with the People of Syria, featured several speakers, including St. Paul First Ward City Council member Dai Thao.

“We stand with you,” Thao told the group Sunday afternoon. “Our next mayor, our next senator could be in one of those refugee camps. And they deserve an opportunity to thrive in this country, to start again, to contribute to Minnesota, to make Minnesota the best place in the United States.”

Rihab Naheel, another speaker, told the crowd about how she was welcomed with open arms when she moved here 14 years ago from Syria.

“Those with the coldest weather have the warmest hearts,” she said.

Each speaker also thanked Gov. Mark Dayton for being one of the just 19 governors to welcome Syrian refugees to their state.

In between speakers, the crowd sang the chorus of “All are Welcome” and waved their signs along Summit Avenue.

KAREN ZAMORA