Friday, July 09, 2010

Second Genocide Memorial Service

Last year, I attended the dedication ceremony of a Genocide Memorial Garden. Rev. Audrey Brooks, clergy in the Unitarian Church, built a beautiful dry riverbed in front of her home for this purpose. We wrote the names of victims of genocide on stones, and placed them in the garden. Rev. Brooks has decided to make this an annual event, so on July 4 we gathered at her home again for prayers, meditations, readings, and personal tributes to victims of genocides from different cultures and walks of life. Lewis Cardinal began the service with a traditional Aboriginal prayer blessing the Four Directions.

Most of the service was led by Rev. Brooks, Mr. Cardinal, and Rabbi David Kunin from Beth Shalom Synagogue. People either placed another stone, or talked about the stone they place last year. Last year, I placed a stone for victims of the Holocaust (Jewish and otherwise). The Holocaust was brought up during a meditation about genocides that have occurred during history, so I decided not to re-dedicate the stone. I did say a few words on behalf of the March for all of the Missing and Murdered Women of Edmonton - the organizers were invited to attend but were unavailable.

Here are some photos from the event. I also had the privilege this year of performing a song with The Raging Grannies. Given the interfaith aspect of the event which dealt with human right, I could think of no better song to sing than "I Only Ask of God."

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