Update on Sunday’s Candlelight Vigil for Peace and Racial Justice

Above: In 2019, community members held a candlelight vigil for peace and unity in the rain. Participants in this weekend’s vigil for peace and racial justice may again need umbrellas, but they won’t be standing so closely. And they’ll need to bring their own candles and lighters. (top photo by Beth Melo)

Southborough’s Neighbors for Peace released new details on the Candlelight Vigil for Peace and Racial Justice planned for this Sunday.

There may be a sense of déjà vu. Many of the same speakers have participated in past Southborough peace vigils. Some vigils also followed events in our country that shed light on hateful discrimination. 

candlelight vigil for peace and racial justice updated flyerStill, this is the first time that (instead of generalized calls for “unity” or opposition to “hatred”) there is a specified focus on racial injustice:

Join with neighbors to stand for peace and racial justice in our community, our nation, and our world. . .

Together we can make a difference in our world to root out the pain and injustice of racism, and fully become those who respect the dignity of every other person.

The event is scheduled to start at 7:00 pm on Sunday, June 14th.

It will begin with “Nearly 9 minutes of silence in memory of George Floyd”. The length is clearly a reference to the 8 minutes and 46 seconds that a Minneapolis Police officer pushed his knee into Floyd’s neck, killing him.

“Reflections from town officials and area residents” will follow. Those include:

Lisa Braccio, Board of Selectmen
Chief Kenneth Paulhus, Southborough Police Department
Rabbi Rachel Gurevitz, Congregation B’nai Shalom
Rep. Carolyn Dykema
Sen. Jamie Eldridge
David Joyner, Southborough Resident

Participants are encouraged to:

Bring homemade signs and posters to reflect your desire for peace in our world.

In signs of the times, participants are asked to come with their own candles and a way to light them, wear a mask, and practice distancing. They are also invited to donate facemasks to The Boys and Girls Club of Worcester. (The Facebook event details “Cloth masks should be in a ziplock bag and surgical masks should be in an unopened box.”)

The gathering will again be on St. Mark’s field, at the Main Street corner of Rtes 30 and 85.

The forecast shows a chance of rain. The flyer doesn’t state rain or shine. But given a past vigil held in the rain, I’m betting it will go on unless the forecast changes to more extreme weather.

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