In Search of Universal Love

Candlelight Vigil
To Light The Road Peace

From MoveOn  <>

March 15, 2003

We're up to 3,700 vigils in 108 countries for Sunday.
The Global Vigil for Peace is going to be huge -- one of
the largest coordinated vigils in history.

The Global Vigil is endorsed by Nobel Peace Laureate
Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who recently said:

"On Sunday evening people in every corner of the globe will
shine beacons of light throughout the world.  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."

Beginning in New Zealand, these locally organized candlelight
vigils will circle around the globe.  They'll be beautiful,
powerful, and inspiring.  They'll send an eloquent and clear
message that the world wants peace.  And they'll be supported
by many religious leaders -- including Archbishop Desmond
Tutu, a Nobel Peace Prize winner -- who will help to
articulate the moral case against war.

March 16, 2003

So far, 6874 vigils have been scheduled in 141 countries.

March 18, 2003

It now appears that a war may be very close.  The Bush
administration has abandoned the diplomatic process at the
United Nations. The United Nations has begun pulling its
inspectors out of Iraq.  President Bush has given Saddam
Hussein 48 hours to leave Iraq or face war.  This is a very
sad day.

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.

We will continue waging peace, even if war comes.  We have
joined together to articulate a vision of how the world should
be -- of how nations should treat each other, of how we can
collectively deal with threats to our security.

One simple way to show your continued commitment to this
vision is to put a light in your window.  It could be a
Christmas string or candle, a light bulb, or a lantern.  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.

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.

For some amazing pictures of the vigils around the world, go

The Global Vigil was made possible by the efforts of thousands
of volunteers. Some worked tirelessly to make modest but
important vigils happen in small towns and villages. Others
merely chose a location for a vigil on our Web site and handed
out extra candles as hundreds of strangers showed up. Several
dedicated volunteers staffing the MoveOn help desk worked
countless hours answering questions and solving problems. All
of us give our most heartfelt thanks to these fantastic
volunteers for their good spirits during such an intense

Here are a few of the thousands of reports we've seen from
vigil coordinators.

They give a real sense of the scale and
power of this event.

"We are planning to take the fire of one of the candle and
[keep it burning], as a symbol of the light of the conscience
of humanity."
--Fabian Freire, Barcelona, Spain, over 100 attended

"The calm, moon-lit night provided an incredibly beautiful
setting where persons could visualize the devastation a shock
and awe attack would bring to their beloved city."
--Chester L Guinn, Des Moines, United States, over 1,000

"Tonight, at 7, I was alone with my candle on the place of the
village, when an old lady, Misses Wery arrived walking with
her stick. So old, limping and desiring strongly to say "No
war". We ended up with more than 20 people."
--Jacqueline Beraud, France (no village name)

"It is so important for the world to realise that most
Americans are, like the rest of the world's people,
peace-loving, fair-minded and good-hearted people."
--Al Harris, Cairns, Australia, more than 200 people

"People were lining the edge of the fountain, holding candles
and signs well before 7pm, and many stayed until 9pm even
10pm, for live coverage on local news channels. Drivers of
cars, even metro busses, were honking wildly with fingers in
peace signs out their windows."
--Kayte (last name not given), Houston, United States, over
1,000 people

"We had 40 participants attend, all ages. People spoke about
peace; one participant with her native drum led us in a chant,
'Peace in our minds, peace in our homes, peace in the world,'
we sang. All in all it was a great success. We plan to have a
vigil next Sunday as well, same time, same place."
--Joyce Lachance, Musquodoboit Harbour, Canada

No one has ever said that waging peace is easy.  It may take
days, or months, or years.  But moving forward together, we
will make history.

For the case of peace, the strength lies not in the numbers but in the light of love itself that moves us. We were only six in our vigil for peace, and long after the vigil itself ended the candles kept burning in the garden as the light of love never truly goes out in the world, but grows brighter as we find our humanity in its glow. Thus, the fight for peace becomes more than just a fight. It becomes an affirmation of who we are as human beings.

Rolf Witzsche, North Vancouver, Canada 

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