It was a new venue, but none of the meaning and weight of the annual Charlestown Vigil was lost last Saturday, Sept. 26, when the Charlestown Coalition held its 12th annual Vigil in the Peace Park.
For the previous 11 years, the ceremony during Recovery Month has been held at Hays Park to remember loved ones lost to addiction and overdose. Those left in the wake of these individual tragedies included children, fathers, mothers, siblings and grandparents – all mourning over different people, but the same epidemic.
This year, Coordinator Shannon Lundin-White said they have chosen the Peace Park on Lowney Way as the new location going forward, as it is designed for the purpose of healing from grief.
“The Peace Park has brought us together this year,” she said. “So going forward we will have the Vigil here every year.”
Saturday’s vigil was marked by singing performances, a reflection by Lundin-White, and the always-powerful reading of ‘We light this candle for you’ by Ronnie Doe.
Gathered just yards from the highway and the noise of the city, there was peace and quiet in the minds of everyone as they lit a candle to remember so many in Charlestown who have been lost to the opiate epidemic. As the candles burned on, a professional video with photos of those lost played for nearly 15 minutes to music.
Not a word was uttered in that time.
But several tears were shed.
“When they are gone, we tend to forget the many hard times, and we remember the good time,” said Lundin-White.