Local residents join Global Candlelight Vigil for Peace
MOHAWK, HOUGHTON -- -- Local residents joined the Global Candlelight Vigil for Peace Sunday evening, March 16, in solidarity with concerned citizens in 129 countries holding more than
6000 vigils for peace. In the words of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, "May our candles rekindle the light of reason and hope so that war will be averted in Iraq and peace will prevail in the world."
In Mohawk, Carol Rose reported, 13 people gathered for the candlelight vigil
held at the Ramblin' Rose Arts Center and drummed for peace.
The Houghton City Centre was the site of a gathering of about 35 residents for
the peace vigil.
|Sandra Harting and Vern Simula of Toivola drum
for peace during the March 16 vigil at the Ramblin' Rose Arts
Center in Mohawk. About 13 people gathered for the drumming vigil,
according to Carol Rose, director of the Center.
The MoveOn.org Web site invited communities all over the world to schedule the candlelight vigils on Sunday evening, March 16, and to send photos of the vigils to their site.*
Carol Rose explained why, to her, drumming was a way to participate in the
Vigil for Peace.
"To me, drums present a way to voice a universal language of prayer and
hope," Rose said. "Drums are an integral part of the happenings at the Ramblin' Rose
Arts Center with 'Drum Circles' happening on a 'non-regular' basis. It only made sense to include this peaceful way of communicating into our
|In Mohawk, residents and local artists drum for
peace Sunday evening, March 16, at the Ramblin' Rose Arts Center.
(Photo © 2003 Carol Rose.)
In Houghton, vigil participants stood with candles for a peace vigil in front of
the Houghton City Centre and the United States Post Office.
|In solidarity with the Global Candlelight Vigil
for Peace, local residents stand with lighted candles in front of
the Houghton City Centre on Shelden Avenue Sunday evening, March
16, 2003. (Photo by anonymous contributor)
The Rev. Bucky Beach, pastor of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church and Lutheran Campus Ministry
in Houghton attended the vigil on Shelden Avenue.
"Much of the American religious community that I find respectable declared Sunday night as a time to hold candlelight vigils for
peace," he said. "It's important to let the world know that war is not an acceptable alternative. That's why I was there."
During the season of Lent, Rev. Beach added, an ecumenical time of meditation and prayers for
peace will be offered at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church and Lutheran Campus Ministry, 1100 College Avenue in Houghton, on Wednesdays from noon to
"This time of prayer is self-directed, so you do not have to arrive on
time," Rev. Beach noted. "All are welcome."
|Both younger and older generations were
represented at the Candlelight Vigil for Peace March 16 in
Houghton. (Photo by anonymous contributor)
Carolyn (Candy) and Rolf Peterson of Houghton were among the vigil
participants on Shelden Avenue.
"I participated in the vigil to be a part of a world-wide expression in favor of peaceful resolution of conflict."
|Houghton residents Rolf and Carolyn Peterson,
center, and Cynthia Selfe of Hancock hold candles during the March
16 vigil in Houghton. (Photo by anonymous contributor)
Candy Peterson explained why she joined the vigil: "I believe the
ignorance and apathy of U.S. citizens is, in large part, the reason we're in
this fix. The peace movement seems to be on the Internet and in the streets, and
I have enjoyed participating in both arenas. Singing with like-minded folks,
under a beautiful sky, soothed my troubled soul!"
Both Rolf Peterson and Carol Rose have sent photos on this page to the
MoveOn.org Web site for their collection of vigil photos from around the world.*
MoveOn.org reported on Monday, March 17: "Last night, around the world, a wave of light was accompanied by a sense of peace, hope, and commitment. Despite the gathering of darkness and the possible impending war, over 6000 vigils worldwide showed that people everywhere are resolved to wage peace and not war."
|Candlelight is reflected in the dampness of
Houghton's Shelden Avenue, where recent warm temperatures have
caused the snow to melt. (Photo © 2003 Rolf Peterson)
Merle Kindred of Hancock described her feelings about the Houghton vigil: "It was heartening to know our group of 35 or so assembled in front of Houghton's City Hall was part of the
'rolling vigil' which started in Australia and New Zealand at 7 o'clock Sunday night, their time. We held our candles, waved to passers-by who honked, and sang peace songs. Then we trooped over to the post office where we clustered under the fallout shelter sign posted by the door and, in dark humor, wondered how many of us would fit into the shelter in the event of nuclear disaster. We dispersed at 8 o'clock knowing that like-minded folks in the central time zone were lighting candles and helping carry the symbolic torch of hope around the globe. War is NOT inevitable. We care.
We are galvanizing ourselves globally to stop this madness."**
|Peace Vigil participants mingle in front of the
United States Post Office on Shelden Avenue in Houghton on Sunday,
March 16. Pictured here are, from left, Merle Kindred of Hancock, Marilyn Urion
of Chassell and Andrea Baldridge of Houghton. Note fallout shelter
sign at the left of Post Office door. (Photo © 2003 Rolf Peterson)
Susan Burack of Hancock said more than 30 people attended the Houghton vigil.
"We sang. 'Vigiled' for an hour," Burack noted. "It felt good to be part
of something that was happening around the world and to DO SOMETHING."
Eli Pariser of the MoveOn peace organization writes, "On Sunday, people came together in thousands of towns and villages around the world -- a truly global vigil for peace. The vigils came in all shapes and sizes. There were vigils with ten people and vigils with thousands. There were vigils in homes, in churches, and in open fields. People joined
together to share their commitment to making a better world."
Now that the Bush Administration has abandoned the diplomatic process at the United Nations, MoveOn.org suggests a simple way to show your continued commitment to a vision for peace is to put a light in your window.
"It could be a Christmas string or candle, a light bulb, or a lantern," Pariser writes. "It's an easy way to keep the light of reason and hope burning, to let others know that they are not alone, and to show the way home to the young men and women who are on their way to Iraq."
In a March 18 email message, Carol Rose reported the Ramblin' Rose Arts
Center in Mohawk is joining in the Light for Peace Campaign.
"Currently the red lights on the base of the candle are burned out,"
Rose noted. "We are searching for more (of any color). If you know of any place we could get them, please let us
Pariser adds a note of hope: "We must remember in this dark moment that we have come a long way. By working for peace around the globe, millions of people have successfully challenged the justness of this war on a world stage. We have persuaded governments to heed their
peoples' call to peace, and helped the United Nations maintain its integrity. We all have been part of a historic mobilization of the citizens of the globe. It will change everything. And in the end, we will win."
* Visit MoveOn.org
to see photos of the March 16, 2003, candlelight vigils in communities all over
** At 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 18, Merle Kindred of Habitat for
Humanity will be discussing the connections between oil and war; between alternative energy and justice;
and between "all of the above" and peace in "No Furnace: Passive Solar Homes in the
Keweenaw." The presentation will be in Room U115, Minerals and Materials Engineering Building
(next to Douglas Houghton Hall) on the Michigan Tech campus. It is hosted by the Keweenaw Chapter of Michigan Tech Alumni and Friends.
*** Visit the Ramblin' Rose
Arts Center Web site or email carol@RamblinRoseArt.com
if you wish to donate lights for peace or be added to the Center's email list to
receive information about drum circles and other arts activities.
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