Saturday, September 12, 2009

Candlelight Vigil


It rained last night as we drove through the canyon and across Albuquerque to Rio Rancho for the ABQ Teaparty Candlelight Vigil. By the time I arrived to help set up, nearly 40 minutes late due to rain and traffic, the rain had stopped and although it may have kept people away, we had a very beautiful ceremony.

I was helping at the candle table, but stopped to take a picture of the dedicated volunteers putting the little paper sconces on the candles.

After dark, people stood at the memorial wall, where we had placed sheets of paper with the names of everyone who was murdered on 9/11. The names were divided by where they had died: the four planes, the Pentagon, and the World Trade Center.

After the posting of the colors by a unit from Rio Rancho Fire Department, first responders prepare to light their candles. After lighting them, they walked down the hill to the assembly and lit our candles. We, in turn, lit the candles of those behind us, until a wave of light transformed Roscoe Field. Bagpipes played "Amazing Grace", and at the end of the moment of silence, "Taps" as we stood in silence.

A close up on one of the pages of names from the World Trade Center. Here I found the name of a friend who died there that day. He left behind a family with small children.

As I stood at the wall of names, I was reminded of standing at the Wall in Jerusalem. People brought their candles close, they touched the names. One father whispered to a small child the story of the firemen. I felt the strong presence of grief, of rememberance, of prayer.

The Tea Party committee made this the Day of Rememberance that Patriots Day should indeed be.

During and after the ceremony, two searchlights sent their light aloft, our reminder of the lost twin towers.

Yesterday was a day for Rememberance. Today, 9-12, is a day for action.

Yesterday we mourned the loss of the Twin Towers from the New York Skyline, and the loss of the lives of fellow citizens, taken too soon from time, from family, from their work.

Today is a day for action. It is a day to insist that our servant government hear our voices. It is a day to lift up our voices for liberty, and for the restoration of the Constitution that secures our rights to life, liberty and property. It is a day to continue to insist on the conditions needed to build the Freedom Tower, in a space so long empty on the New York Skyline.

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