Art by Eric Gordon
From an email:
“There will be a candlelight vigil in Dupont Circle, Thursday evening October 25th from 7pm to 745pm, in advance of Friday’s interment of Matthew Shepard’s ashes in the National Cathedral. For twenty years, his ashes have not been laid to rest, as his parents worried that if they chose a final resting place, it would be at risk of desecration. But, on Friday, this tragic odyssey will come to an end, as there will be a final home for Matthew in a place his parents say he would love.
And so we will gather Thursday evening at 7pm at the fountain in Dupont Circle as a community to mark this occasion and stand against intolerance, hatred, and the violence that claimed Matthew’s life and continues today.
This will be a short, respectful, and dignified vigil – and opportunity for those in who are unable to attend the Friday services at the Cathedral to join together to bear witness, and give honor and respect to Matthew, his family, those who loved him, and to reaffirm our unity in the face of hatred and violence against anyone, and especially against members of the LGBTQ+ community. We will join one another in prayer and song.
St Thomas Parish Episcopal Church will take the lead in the vigil, and they have agreed. Reverend Alex Dyer will speak, as will Reverend V. Gene Robinson, the former Episcopal Bishop of New Hampshire, who was the first openly gay Bishop in the history of the Episcopal Church. Several other congregations with long established LGBTQ+ outreach will also take part. All are welcome.
The Gay Mens Chorus of Washington will participate and lead us in song, as will the choir of Foundry Methodist Church.
There will be a table where attendees can sign a condolence book.
The National Park Service says no wax candles, but LED candles are permitted.
The Dupont Festival organization has secured and paid for the permit, and will be the official sponsor, handle all the logistics, take all responsibility, and be everyone’s point of contact. They secured a permit – stamped and approved – in two days, which has to be a record of some sort. We are so grateful to Aaron DeNu for his hard work and help in all this.”