Silent Vigil, Physically Distanced



Silent Vigil, Physically Distanced




Larry Guengerich


June 9, 2020


When a number of residents learned clergy from across the Lancaster, PA area were holding a vigil in support of George Floyd and others in downtown Lancaster on Friday June 5, they wanted to participate. However, they also knew staying home was the best way to keep themselves and neighbors safe from COVID-19. So, using the resident Listserv, they put out the word for a silent vigil to take place at the same time on The Crossings Green. By the time it started, around 80 residents and team members gathered, while practicing physical distancing, for nine minutes of silent reflection and witness. Following this time a card was made available to sign that will be sent to the Floyd family.

Resident Ken Langeman sent the email that got the idea started. He said, “We wanted to go and be part of the vigil, but knew that might put ourselves and others here at risk. So I sent a note sharing the idea of gathering here. The purpose was to silently express anguish about what is currently happening in our country, in solidarity with those who were gathering in Lancaster. We made sure to tell those who were attending to come with face coverings and observe physical distancing.”

In addition to the silent time of reflection and prayer, this event also elicited heartfelt comments from other residents. Don Tyrell shared from his experiences. “So why am I attending the vigil? What do I have to protest? Well I’m attending and protesting because I believe in what the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution and the Bill of Rights say about equality, life, liberty and freedom. I’m attending and protesting because I see these values being ignored, reviled and cast aside by too many of my fellow Americans. I’ve done this before. I’ve walked in sympathy with Dr. Martin Luther King in the 60s, I’ve attended sit-ins and love-ins to bring an end to the war in Vietnam. I’ve donated to all the “right” causes. Now I have to ask what have I accomplished? Well, the war in Vietnam ended. But racism, conscious or unconscious, active or passive, whether with intent or out of ignorance, continues to plague our country and our world.”




Larry Guengerich



Date Submitted

August 4, 2020

Date Modified

August 4, 2020


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This item was submitted on August 4, 2020 by Larry Guengerich using the form “Share Your Story” on the site “Anabaptist History Today”:

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