Owensboro will host its first Lights for Liberty vigil on Friday at Legion Park. Lights for Liberty is a nationwide event where citizens come together to stand in solidarity for migrants.
Several local organizations have come together to host the event, including NonViolent Owensboro and The Owensboro Human Relations Commission, which is spearheading the programming. Members of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Owensboro have helped with the event as well, and the church’s minister, Reverend Claudia Ramisch will speak before a candle lighting ceremony takes place.
Anyone who feels strongly about immigration issues in America is welcome to attend, officials said.
“It’s important to our [Human Relations] commission because we not only fight for local rights, but we stand for human rights,” said OHRC Executive Director Kaitlin Nonweiler.
Other cities across Kentucky holding Lights for Liberty vigils include Lexington, Louisville, Danville, Florence and Frankfort.
“It’s important — even though we aren’t in close proximity to the border — for us to know what’s going on in our country,” Nonweiler said. “We even have people in our community who’ve been affected by a lack of immigration reform, and it’s important for us to acknowledge the human rights violations that are happening.”
Though the decision to hold a vigil at the local level was made somewhat last-minute, Nonweiler and others are working hard to make sure a respectful ceremony can take place.
Owensboro resident Mary Danhauer has helped OHRC with the event. She said the vigil will serve as a voice for the voiceless across the United States. Danhauer encourages those from other countries who attend Friday night’s event to bring their home country’s flag to stand alongside the American flag and show a united front.
The event will begin at 8:30 p.m. and candles will be provided for those in attendance. The candlelight ceremony will start at 9 p.m.