Vigil held for peace

By CHARLES PEARL State Journal Staff Writer Published:

More than 100 people gathered on the front steps of the Capitol Sunday evening to participate in a Candlelight Vigil for Peace.

The hour-long event was part of a Global Candlelight Vigil for Peace called by Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the Rev. Robert Edgar of the National Council of Churches and other religious leaders to say yes to peace and no to war with Iraq. The vigil revolved around the globe at 7 p.m. from time zone to time zone.

Three Frankfort women, Anne Woodhead, Tona Barkley and Reba Rye, organized the vigil here.

"We are here to remember our troops and the Iraqi people," Woodhead said. "We are not here to be overtly provocative and we certainly do not want to be unruly. If there are any hecklers who come by, please ignore them and do not respond."

People came to the Global Candlelight Vigil "on what appears to be the eve of war because we all believe war can and should be avoided," Barkley said. "Many have already taken action - marching in demonstrations and expressing our opinions to our elected leaders in various ways. But these actions seem to have had little impact."

Barkley said participants came simply to join with others around the globe to show their dissent, be still, and appeal to a higher power.

"We are appealing for patience and time, to find other ways than war to deal with this crisis; for our own troops, that they may be spared the horrors of fighting a war; and for the Iraqi people, that they may be spared the horrors of living in a war zone."

More than 6,500 Candlelight Vigils for Peace were being held in 136 countries, Barkley said.

Woodhead read a letter from Ramzi Kysia, an Arab-American peace activist and writer, currently in Iraq with the Voices in the Wilderness' Iraq Peace Team.

For more on this story, see the latest State Journal.

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