Sunday, September 04, 2005

Candlelight Vigil and Dove Release Tonight

As the cataclysmic events of the past week have unfolded with increasing horror and dismay, I realized that while the flow of funds to the Red Cross have increased, there is still something missing in our national response. We recall that after 9/11, there was a tremendous national outpouring of compassion and sympathy for those who were killed or traumatized by the events... flags were at half-mast, ribbons were worn, and the nation unified (at least temporarily) to rally around New York, Washington, and Pennsylvania. Candlelight vigils were everywhere, and the nation was told to pray.

This time, this hasn't quite happened... yet. The wave of compassion that overtook America after 9/11 and the Asian tsunami is beginning to form, but it needs a push. I've heard many reasons why our compassion is only on first or second gear right now, but what matters now is that we push all of that aside for now and stand in solidarity with the hundreds of thousands of new American homeless. They are our sisters and brothers, without the beds, the food, and the community that we so cherish and sometimes forget we have.

So, we'll take some time with a candlelight vigil and dove release on Sunday, September 4th at 7pm at City/County Plaza to honor the fallen, and those struggling to survive. We'll honor New Orleans, Mobile, and Biloxi with a light of appreciation for these cities and hope for their rebuilding. We'll honor the children whose lives have been upturned. We'll honor all these with a flickering flame, a few words, and silence. I would deeply appreciate you spreading the word on this... and, despite the great temptation, the goal is to stand as one. While inaction to help the victims has turned the situation political, I'd like this gathering to remain apolitical. This is about people, the ecology, and the nation as a whole. This is, first and foremost, about compassion, and doing something powerful with it.


I have been instructed by APD to ask people to refrain from carrying signs on sticks, and to assure that the lit candles do not drip wax. We do not have a permit but are being allowed to gather in a First Amendment capacity. Please bring your candles in a votive form or in stick form with some kind of "wax catcher." I've never organized anything like this before. Any logistical help from 'old hands' would be great! If you have any music or spoken word you'd like to share, please do.

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