Bedford Gathers in Solemn Remembrance of the Lives Lost in Orlando

Image (c) Bob Bass, 2016 all rights reserved - click image to view at higher resolution
Image (c) Bob Bass, 2016 all rights reserved – click image to view at higher resolution

By Julie McCay Turner

And love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love
Cannot be killed or swept aside

From the sonnet written by Lin-Manuel Miranda
Accepting the 2016 Tony Award for Best Original Score, “Hamilton”

Rainbow flags fly in front of Bedford's historic meeting house - Image (c) JMcCT, 2016 all rights reserved - Click image to view at full resolution
Rainbow flags fly in front of Bedford’s historic meeting house – Image (c) JMcCT, 2016 all rights reserved – Click image to view at full resolution

Rev. John Eric Gibbons, Senior Minister at First Parish Unitarian Universalist on Bedford Common, began Thursday night’s vigil to honor the lives lost in Orlando’s Pulse nightclub by quoting Lin-Manuel Miranda’s sonnet, then paraphrasing it. “Enough is enough. Enough is enough. Enough. Enough. Enough. Enough,” Gibbons exclaimed in an increasingly anguished voice.

The solemn vigil was organized by Bedford’s Interfaith Clergy Association, five days after the deadly mass shooting. Speakers from multiple faith traditions and gender identification were present, along with representatives from the Town of Bedford.

Bob-Bass-Quartet
Standing on the side of love – Image (c) Bob Bass, 2016 all rights reserved – Click image to view at full resolution

Prayers were offered in several languages, a rainbow candle was lighted for each of the victims as their names were declaimed, and usually sunny faces were stonily solemn.

While Thursday morning’s Boston Globe Opinion feature “Make it Stop” drew attention to the impact of assault weapons and America’s inability to pass firearm control legislation, Bedford’s vigil focused on a more personal level: the impact of the loss on Orlando’s LGBTQ and Latino communities, and the common thread of humanity that joins us all.

“No matter your race, your religion, ethnicity, or sexual preference,” said Bedford’s Police Chief Robert Bongiorno, “we are equal, and we stand as one.”

Faces
Faces – Image (c) JMcCT, 2016 all rights reserved – Click image to view at full resolution
Closing the ceremony with a song, "Lean on Me" - Image (c) JMcCT, 2016 all rights reserved - Click image to view at full resolution
Closing the ceremony with a song, “Lean on Me” – Image (c) JMcCT, 2016 all rights reserved – Click image to view at full resolution

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