Candlelight Vigil Honoring the Fallen of March 22, 2021
Program presented by Lyons Emergency & Assistance Fund
A Vigil ceremony was presented in Lyons for local citizens to have the opportunity to gather and mourn the loss of ten people who were killed in a mass shooting in Boulder, Colorado on March 22, and to send good wishes to their souls and families. Approximately 125 people attended. They were asked to sign a poster that would be placed at the Table Mesa Road memorial.
Cherie Maureaux, LEAF mental health therapist, organized the event and introduced the speakers and musicians (see Program below). She opened the program with Rev. Emily Hagan saying a prayer.
Lory Barton, LEAF executive director, said “We always stand strong when we find ways to stand together… We still believe we can change the world for good, and we will never stop trying.”
“The answer to the hard questions is always love,” said Cherie. “The way we show up for each other demonstrates this love, the way we open our hearts to each other and keep hope alive, our acts of service and kindness. When we are angry, confused, hurt—come back to center and remember that love is always the answer.”
Mid-way through the ceremony, Cherie read each victim’s name, followed by Pastor Emily ringing a bell. Cherie then said each time “Today and always,” with the attendees responded “We will always remember you.” Paper balloons were going to be lit and sent aloof for each victim, but the strong wind cancelled that effort. This was followed by individual candle lighting and a moment of silence.
The photographs below reflect the events of the evening.
All Photographs by Kathleen Spring
All photographs are copyright protected by Kathleen Spring. Written permission is required to use them.
Cherie Maureaux, LEAF Mental Health Therapist
The program was organized by Cherie Maureaux, and she introduced the speakers and musicians. See above Program for names of people speaking or performing.
(1) Opening Prayer
Tonight, we open our program with prayer. We will then honor each of the Fallen with a sky balloon release, light our candles, and have a moment of silence.
(2) Reciting the Names of the Victims
We will now name the Fallen. Let us remember the Souls, family members, loved ones, and friends. Let us begin to rekindle hope, trust, and courage. Let us help in letting light prevail. Let us rededicate ourselves to building a world that is safe for our children. After speaking each name, we will release a sky balloon. During the release, I will say, “Today and Always” and I ask that we all collectively say, “We will always remember you” in response. (note, the balloons failed to work due to the strong winds.)
(3) Lighting of the Candles, assisted by Pastor Emily
We will now light our candles, passing our lit flame to our neighbors in the crowd until all candles are lit. Accompanied by music, and followed by a moment of silence.
(4) Closing Remarks
Let us keep our hearts open to ourselves and others as we support each other in the shadow of what we have lost, which can be our feeling of safety, past memories of lost loved ones, or hopelessness with the world. Let us hold fast to love and cherish the light of the sun. The answer to the hard questions is always love. The way we show up for each other demonstrates this love, the way we open our hearts to each other and keep hope alive, our acts of service and kindness. When we are angry, confused, hurt—come back to center and remember that love is always the answer.
Our program is ended now. Please extinguish your candles and go forth in peace, with a commitment to sharing the hope and love we have shared here tonight.
Lory Barton, LEAF Executive Director
Thank you all for being here. Please take a candle and a program from the table next to the stage. I am Lory Barton, the Executive Director of the Lyons Emergency & Assistance Fund. Your presence tonight says a few things: First, in spite of our many differences, it acknowledges there is more that unites us than separates us. We are human together. It says that We are stronger together than on our own. We can be our brother’s keepers. We will hold each other up. We always stand stronger when we find ways to stand together. It says we believe Peace is an overcoming power. We still believe we can change the world for good, and we will never stop trying. In the coming days, as we continue to wrestle with the heartbreak and lack of justice this world brings at times, we should seek to remember its joys and the mercies, too. Your presence here tonight proclaims that love is bigger than hate. Love.
So, Let’s hold on to this unity. Let’s be human beings together. Let’s shine as lights in this world that can be so dark. Thank you for being here this evening to show honor and to pay respect to these 10 innocent souls who lost their lives last week. It is important to pause, to consider, to contemplate this loss and the grief we all feel. I wish grace and peace for all of us tonight.
Prayer in this Time
O God, in this time, when we feel grief, hopelessness, anger, and
no words to express whatever it is we are feeling,
we turn to you, our Refuge and our Strength.
We pray for those who were killed today.
They were treasured and loved,
and so cruelly taken from their families and friends.
We pray for those whose hearts were broken open today.
We pray for the injured with physical, mental, and emotional pain.
We pray for the brave first responders.
Hear our collective moans and tears.
Give your comfort and your strength.
Give us your grace to live in hope, love, and peace, and as people of faith.
Amen.-Prayer by Rev. Beverly Fest, as spoken by Rev. Emily Hagan at the Lyons Vigil