The following was submitted by the groups that sponsored the vigil:
An intrepid and solemn group of Watertown residents and students came together in a Vigil on Watertown Square – amid dark skies, rain, and wind – to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., on Wednesday, the 50th anniversary of his assassination. But as the 50 participants gathered to hear the words of Dr. King, the sun emerged and bathed the group – and the flag above – in soft evening light.
The Vigil was timed to coincide with the exact time of Dr. King’s assassination (at 6:01 p.m.), and began with Vigil participants standing together along Main St and Galen St. Participants held signs with quotes from Dr. King’s many inspiring speeches, as well as yellow daffodils to symbolize the gravity and
solemnity of the occasion.
After the public witness to passers-by in the Square, Vigil participants gathered in a circle in the Delta to hear the words of Dr. King and join together in song. Rev. Mark Harris convened the group with words of reflection and remembrance, and then turned to selected Vigil participants who read brief quotes from Dr. King’s speeches.
Ruth Henry, lead organizer of Kingian training and artistic initiatives in Watertown, introduced Dr. King’s six principles of nonviolence, which were each read by WMS and WHS students Alex Thune, MaryKate Munro, Shama and Shariel Joseph, Marcus Moore, and Eva Henry. WHS junior Olivia Haggerty read excerpts from Dr. King’s “Mountaintop speech” in Memphis, followed Watertown resident Patricia Burke read excerpts from Dr. King’s “Letter from Birmingham City Jail”
Shivani Sharma, a WMS student, spoke briefly about the personal meaning of Dr. King’s principles of nonviolence for her and asked participants to “make Dr. King proud” each and every day by living and acting on the principles of nonviolence.
The Vigil closed with participants joining arms and voices in singing “We Shall Overcome” … fully committed to the belief that 50 years after his death, Dr. King’s
dream of racial and economic justice remains unrealized in the continued legacy of slavery and reality of white privilege.
The Vigil was sponsored by World in Watertown, Watertown Citizens for Black Lives (a working group of Watertown Citizens for Peace, Justice, and the Environment), and two local churches – First Parish of Watertown, and Church of the Good Shepherd.