Hundreds of candles flickered on the Cambridge Common last night as more than 1000 people participated in a vigil calling for an end to the Vietnam War.
The participants raised their candles above their heads as The Litany for Peace was pronounced by Rev. Herbert F. Vetter Jr. of Cambridge's First Unitarian Parish Church.
The litany cited the number of U.S. and Vietnamese deaths, the cost of the war, and the divisions the war has created in America. Vetter stated that "We the people hereby petition the President and the Congress of the United States of America to end this war."
The assembled crowd responded to each section of the litany with "Lord, make us instruments of peace." Many Cambridge residents and their children, as well as members of the Harvard community, attended the protest.
Preceding the end of the hour-long vigil, Elmer H. Brown of the Cambridge Friends Meeting asked the crowd to extinguish their candles in the ground and stand for a brief silent vigil. As the smoke rose into the air, Bishop Thomas J. Riley gave the benediction.
Before the vigil, services for peace were offered in all the Cambridge Churches and at the Harvard-Radcliffe Hillel House. Some of the churches-including the Christ Protestant Episcopal Church, the First Congregational Church, and the First Church of Christ, Scientists-were filled completely for the services.
After the services, the worshippers walked in a procession to the vigil, which was held on the baseball diamond in the Common. The first arrivals sang folk songs as they waited for the vigil to begin.
Despite the frosty temperatures, about 100 students attended a "Peace-In" hootenany held in front of Memorial Church in Harvard Yard.
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