Vigil honors victims of weekend violence

(Editor’s note: Gretchen Stadler of Baker City made this introduction — which includes paraphrases of statements from Indivisible and ACLU People Power — at the Baker City Candlelight Vigil attended by 14 people on Sunday at the Baker City Labyrinth in Central Park. The vigil concluded with 10 minutes of silence.)

This weekend a group of white supremacists lit torches and spread their racist ideology throughout Charlottesville, Virginia. Some incited violence, and one drove a car into a crowd of peaceful protesters, robbing us of an innocent life and injuring many.

Racial terror and violence is one of our history’s darkest legacies. The struggle to end it is one of the nation’s greatest traditions. We must stand united with the people of Charlottesville and generations before us against racism, white supremacy, violence and hate, and continue the work of creating a country that lives up to our highest ideals.

Heather Heyer was a peaceful protester. Jay Cullen and Berke Bates were pilots in a Virginia State Police helicopter. All three died (Saturday).

Let us take time to honor those we have lost and those who have been harmed by (Saturday’s) violence. Let us reflect on what each of us can do to stand up against hate and violence and work for justice and peace. Let us envision the Baker community and the America we want for ourselves and our neighbors.

Gretchen Stadler

Baker City