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'Let love be a guiding force': Vigil outside of Columbia’s city hall calls for peace in Ukraine

PeaceVigil022422
Sophie Chappell
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Jeff Stack, with the Mid-Missouri Fellowship of Reconciliation, and Meghan O’Donnell, a recent high school graduate, hold a poster reading 'Stop the Bombs' outside of Columbia’s City Hall during a candlelight vigil for peace in Ukraine on Thursday, Feb. 24 in Columbia, Mo.

Amidst the glow of candles and bitter wind, a group of about a dozen people gathered Thursday evening outside Columbia’s city hall building for a vigil calling for peace in Ukraine.

The vigil was coordinated by Mid-Missouri Peaceworks and the Mid-Missouri Fellowship of Reconciliation.

Jeff Stack is with the Mid-Missouri Fellowship of Reconciliation. He said we all should stand in hope and solidarity with the people of Ukraine.

“It’s a horribly tragic day for the people of Ukraine," Stack said. "Millions of people’s lives are coming into balance suddenly. It is a deplorable failure of trying to prevent war.”

Peace Vigil for Ukraine 024622
Sophie Chappell
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Laurie Wern holds a candle and rolled up poster at the vigil for peace in Ukraine outside of Columbia’s City Hall building on Thursday, Feb. 24 in Columbia, Mo.

Laurie Wern participated in the vigil. She said she was dismayed by the invasion, which dominated headlines Thursday, and she said she attended the vigil to let the Ukrainian people know individuals all over the world care about them.

“I’ve been horrified all day looking at pictures of what’s going on there. ... people fleeing, and holding onto each other ... black plumes of smoke. It’s not something anyone ever wants to experience.”

Another vigil is planned for this coming Wednesday, March 2, at 4:30 p.m. on the corner of Broadway and Providence.

Mark Haim, director of Mid-Missouri Peaceworks, said he hopes to see younger faces participate and get involved, so the torch of activism can be passed on.