The Vigil of February 4th 2017 in memory of the massacre of 6 Canadians in Quebec the week before, was moved from outside in the icy cold into the warmth of the Town Hall. It had been very successfully organised by Sameera Ali, Mike Cluett and Zeeshan Hamid. It was attended by 400-500 people.
Originating from many diverse parts of the world, Milton people slowly gathered to fill the entrance hall and the balcony above. Friends were greeted and introduced as the place filled up. Candles in plastic cups were distributed. Some people had brought their own. Flames were shared as some died out. Those who had ventured upstairs leant on the balcony railings and really appreciate the vastness of the heartwarming gathering.
Local political and religious leaders offered speeches and prayers over the loudspeaker as Miltonians of all religions stood shoulder to shoulder in peace and solidarity.
Several speakers mentioned the beauty of the town and of the prevalent feelings of camaraderie, love, sympathy and peace that could be felt in the crowd. At the close was a moment of silence, broken only by the murmurs of children for whose future everyone hopes for a peaceful, united world.
Later some citizens offered comments:
“I am so grateful to the organizers who put this together…. To be able to come together as a community, mourn together and together vow to not let hate win was overwhelming.” Donna Danieli
“Thank you to the committee that put this together for us to show our solidarity in the face of troubled times. We can and will overcome these troubled times if we don’t lose faith in each other! Thanks from the bottom of my heart!” Ries W. Boers
“I am carrying the message to the community on my behalf and on behalf of the PC Party that we all stand in solidarity against such a barbaric act of violence and terrorism”. Sheref Sabawy
“Thank you so much friends and neighbors for coming out to our vigil last night. Thank you for showing everyone that Canada treats everyone with respect, that Canada chooses love over hate. Thank you to the multi-faith panel for supporting us from get go and choosing our event to come and share their wisdom and compassion. Last night, when the closing prayers were going on, I looked up and saw each and every one of the attendees standing with their heads bowed down out of respect, eyes closed in peace, calmly praying along. That moment will forever be etched in my heart as the most beautiful moment of my life.” Sameera Ali Salaam-Shalom-Namaste-Peace