A Little Something Missing in Roanoke’s Prayer Vigil

Press was up front in a nice crowd at the vigil.

The vigil in a few words.

Roanoke’s attempt to honor the victims of yesterday’s Charlottesville riots–including a young woman who died–was mostly a success, but it left me a bit cold with what it didn’t do.

The prayer vigil, which preceded a candlelight vigil downtown, was ostensibly meant to bring the various communities together after a day when white nationalists attempted to separate us into subgroups and then discriminate against all who weren’t white.

I will mention that I saw no Republican officials at the vigil. No Rep Bob Goodlatte, none of our General Assembly Republican reps, no Morgan Griffith. Republicans seem to be taking the other side: defending the indefensible. Joe Dashiel of WDBJ7 says State Senator David Suetterlein, a Republican from Botetourt, was there.

The prayer vigil concentrated heavily on race without much mention of religion (the white nationalists hate Jews and Muslims), immigrants, liberals, and  a whole litany of other people who are not conservative, white and bigoted.

A few Jews were evident.

I would have liked to have heard a prayer end in something besides, “… in Jesus name …” I would have liked to have heard a cross-section of Roanoke’s religions introduced and given the microphone if only to introduce themselves.

As it was, the preachers were Christians, the politicians were far too prominent and what we wound up with was a vigil of exclusion. I don’t find that acceptable, but I do appreciate the effort.

Mayor Sherman Lea offers a prayer.

Kids found something to do.

A theme of unity.

The crowd was large–about 500 or so–and peaceful.

Media was prominent.

My pal Joe Dashiel of WDBJ7.

The shirt says it all.

Brenda Hale (as usual) was loud and proud.

The kids are safe at this type of vigil. For now.

Mix and match. (Susan shot this.)

That’s my old pal historian John Kern with moi. (Susan shot this.)

Susan shot me with my bud Cara Modisett.

This is my favorite photo of the event. It was of the ending prayer. Susan shot it.

2 thoughts on “A Little Something Missing in Roanoke’s Prayer Vigil

  1. Dan: Republican State Senator David Suetterlein attended the rally and condemned the violence in Charlottesville during his remarks to the crowd.

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