‘Sunset vigil’ planned July 18

What does it mean to be an American?

This is the essence of a nation-wide sunset vigil, planned locally on Wednesday evening at Riverside Community Church in Hood River.

The church will be the Gorge gathering point for what is being termed a “Whole States” vigil by local organizers Michelle Rabin and Sheila Shearer.

The church is located at 317 State St.

The event is open to all and runs 8:30-9:30 p.m., with a meditation beginning at sunset, 8:52 p.m.

Shearer said the meditation “will allow us to take a deeper look inside as we examine our inner-most values.

“This will be a non-partisan experience,” she said. “Our goal is (to) create a welcoming space where people can come together to examine what it means to be an American.”

Details on the national vigil are spelled out at confrontcorruption.org.

Shearer said, “We are choosing for our community to put a softer and slightly different intention into the gathering.

“We discourage partisan discussions or confrontations. It is not about Democrats, Republicans and Independents. Rather, it’s about who we want to be as Americans,” she said.

“This is the question that each of us must ask ourselves: ‘Who do we truly want to be as a nation, and consequently, how do we want the rest of the world to view us?’” Rabin said. “We are at a point in our history where we are asked to redefine what it means to be an American. What values do we hold dear? What lessons do we want to teach our children about what it means to be an American citizen?

“We can agree that the vast majority of us want the same things. Let’s not allow the political environment to push us further apart when what is called for is to find the similarities that actually unite us. Let us be the United States of America, people coming together who seek the best for all of us. ‘Liberty and Justice for All’ is what most Americans want.”

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