236 Consecutive Sundays and then The Silent Vigil ended.
Some of you who read Preludium regularly know that very occasionally I have posted something about the ongoing Silent Vigil here in Lewes, the village by the bay and the big water. It has been part of my Sunday schedule for almost 4 1/2 years now. When in town I've joined others - Kathryn, life companion, and Patricia who started it all -in this silent vigil to remember the human cost of war. The group has been as few as seven or eight, once 140, but mostly has involved 12-20 people. Veterans of three wars have been on the line along with peace protesters from at least two.
We have been faithful to the focus: the human costs of war. Now we are moving on to whatever we are next called to do in support of peace.
Our last Sunday made the front page of the News Journal Kent and Sussex edition, above the fold. The article can be read HERE.
The experience has been as profound as the action has been simple. Kathryn spent many hours putting together a presentation about the experience and for several hours on Saturday I helped her work through the pictures and articles. I didn't know the effect would be of seeing all those pictures again and again - pictures of people who have come on the line and have left, the work and memorial of writing down names, and holding numbers, and standing out there. On Sunday when I got up in church to ask a prayer of thanksgiving for all those who stood those many Sundays I choked up and the tears came.
Here is a video of the 4 1/2 year Lewes Silent Vigil.
On the line this last Sunday of the Vigil there were 30 of us. Across the street were the two who for several of those years have steadfastly believed we were wrong to be there and dishonoring those who have died by numbering them.
The Wilmington News Journal online edition (March 23, 2009) also has other pictures of the last day of the vigil. Among them is this one. (Photo(c) News Journal photographer Chuck Snyder, used with permission) Who is that old guy?
At the end of the silence, I walked down the line and said, "Where ever you go, what ever you do, hold the line." Amen.