Candlelight vigil planned in Port Townsend on Thursday

PORT TOWNSEND — Along with holding a candlelight vigil Thursday afternoon, the League of Women Voters-Jefferson County encourages local residents to place candles in their windows throughout the day and evening.

This is to remember the law enforcement officers killed or wounded on duty at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, said Angela Gyurko, the League chapter’s president.

The lighted candles also express solidarity for voting rights, she said, adding there will be scores of other vigils across the country on this first anniversary of the Capitol insurrection.

The half-hour vigil will begin at 4:30 p.m. at Pope Marine Park on Water Street at Madison, rain or shine.

Gyurko will offer brief remarks, and the rest of the time will be spent in silence.

Any signs brought to the event should reflect respect for democracy and the right to vote, Gyurko said, adding that participants are encouraged to take public transportation, wear masks, and bring LED candles.

“This is a vigil as opposed to a protest or a demonstration, because lives were lost. Officers were beaten, traumatized and killed,” Gyurko said.

“We also will honor the women and men throughout history who worked tirelessly to expand voting rights,” all over the country.

“At times like this, it’s important for the community to come together,” Gyurko said.

The League, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, chose Pope Marine Park since it’s a place where people can spread out, she said.

Gyurko emphasized her hope that those who can’t come due to work, weather or road conditions will put a candle on a window sill at home, symbolizing the light of democracy.

More information about the Jefferson County league chapter is available at www.lwvwa.org/jefferson.

The Clallam County chapter, which treasurer Gayle Fortson said does not plan a vigil Thursday, is found at www.lwvcla.clubexpress.com.

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Jefferson County senior reporter Diane Urbani de la Paz can be reached at 360-417-3509 or [email protected]

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