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The outdoor vigil which was scheduled Tuesday evening in Columbia, Missouri to honor the memory of Dr. George Tiller who was gunned down in his church - allegedly by a disturbed anti-abortion zealot, was brought indoors due to rain and thunderstorms. There were approximately thirty-five individuals in attendance, and an additional ten people representing the press.

At Show Me Progress:

Vigil for Dr. George Tiller in Columbia - June 2, 2009 - part 1

A number of individuals spoke of their personal experience with Dr. Tiller - as a family member of a patient in difficult circumstances, as colleagues, and as activists advocating for women's choice.

Vigil for Dr. George Tiller in Columbia - June 2, 2009 - part 2

Vigil for Dr. George Tiller in Columbia - June 2, 2009 - part 3

Vigil for Dr. George Tiller in Columbia - June 2, 2009 - part 4

As the speakers in turn helped fill out the portrait of Dr. Tiller, he became much less the abstract story - as portrayed by the media and as vilified by those in opposition to him - and assumed his rightful aura as a complex human being, with friends, family, with acts of kindness and humility and caring, working and fighting, sometimes with defiance, for what he believed in.

Constantly dehumanizing someone in life makes it so much easier to ignore or dismiss their death at the hands of another. Learning parts of the story of that person's humanity after their senseless death makes any attempt at comprehending the insanity of it all impossible.

Originally posted to paradocs on Wed Jun 03, 2009 at 06:38 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  As people gathered for the vigil... (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MoDem, x, AllisonInSeattle, maryru, mamamedusa

    ...it was mostly silent, with isolated whispers among the participants accompanied by the constant sound of camera shutters from the press.

  •  paradocs (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    x, AllisonInSeattle

    thank you for chronicling this vigil, and for whatever role you had in putting it together.  I hope there are many more happening across the country, and that the murder of Dr. tiller will not be met with silence.

    I used to read your diaries about your weekly vigils against the war.

  •  Thanks for posting this here (0+ / 0-)

    Glad people are getting together.

    Hopefully people will stay involved in some way. Can't say I know what's most effective, but somehow.

    Be good to each other. It matters.

    by AllisonInSeattle on Thu Jun 04, 2009 at 12:18:09 PM PDT

    •  Speak out, let no opportunity pass (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AllisonInSeattle

      Former Missouri State Representative Vicky Riback Wilson:

      ...Tonight is the reminder for all of us, not only to stand together, but to stand separately as we talk to elected officials, as we talk to newspaper people, as we talk to the media, and, perhaps most importantly, as we talk to our friends. We've cloaked ourselves in fear about expressing how we really feel about these key issues far too often. Now is the time to take this opportunity to discuss the issues and the feelings surrounding this type of event, so that perhaps it will not happen again...

      Sean Spence (who knew and worked with Dr. Tiller):

      ...And it's the least I can do, stand up and say a few things. And it's the least all of us can do and, and I think he should be an example for all of us. In every way he's an example for me. And he's a reminder that the least we can do, the least every one of us can do, is stand up and talk about what's right, and talk about what's in our hearts and do what ever little bit we can. That's what it means to me...

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