On Saturday December 5, nearly every corner of Watertown Square was filled with signs and banners declaring commitment to refugees fleeing war and terror, according to an announcement from Watertown Citizens for Peace, Justice and the Environment.
Judging by dozens of affirming honks and thumbs-ups, Watertown remains fiercely dedicated to welcoming refugees from around the globe. The vigil was organized by Watertown Citizens for Peace, Justice & the Environment.
The crowd later gathered on the delta, where Afghan refugee Rehina Heidari and Syrian asylee Amira Elamri spoke eloquently of the terrifying, brutal conditions under which they escaped their homelands to safety here. State Representative Jonathan Hecht reminded people how fortunate we are in Watertown to have our economy and culture so enriched by refugees of the Armenian Genocide.
Deacon Ken Schmidt of Church of the Good Shepherd urged residents to remember America’s past stains from rejection of Holocaust refugees and the internment of Japanese American citizens. Watertown Citizens’ President Sue-Ellen Hershman-Tcherepnin also announced a collection of essential items for Syrian families trapped in refugee camps that has been set up at First Parish of Watertown throughout the month of December.
WHEN: Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays until the end of December from 10 a.m.-noon; Sunday, Dec. 20 from 1-3 p.m.; and Saturday, Dec. 26 from 10 a.m.-noon.
WHERE: First Parish of Watertown, 35 Church St., delivered to the inside front entrance
WHAT: Bring new or like-new goods only, packed in boxes or placed in clean, strong plastic bags. Items needed: Warm winter clothes, bedding; non-perishable food items such as canned tuna, rice, and baby milk; personal care items such as diapers, feminine pads, toothbrushes, toothpaste; non-battery-operated toys such as stuffed animals, soccer balls, coloring books and crayons.
These items will be picked up weekly by members of Watertown Citizens Refugee Support Group, and delivered to NuDaySyria in New Hampshire, where they will be packed, shipped and delivered directly to refugees. For more information about NuDaySyria’s support operation and activities, visit www.nudaysyria.net. For more information about Watertown Citizens’ activities, visit www.watertowncitizens.org