Vigil celebrates religious unity

On Nov. 11, members of nearly a dozen faiths came together in Uptown Waterloo’s public square for an interfaith candle vigil honouring the veterans of the many wars that have been fought in a gathering that was organized by Interfaith Grand River and the Mennonite Central Committee Ontario (MCCO).

“I observe Remembrance Day by remembering all the people who are affected by war,” said Josie Winterfeld, member of the MCCO, explaining how the holiday goes beyond just the soldiers but is also about “remembering people that work for peace as well.”

The multitude of faiths present also reflected this message in their prayers and in how they observe Remembrance Day. Imam Shafiq Hudda, one of the speakers invited to the event, spoke on how members of the Muslim faith observe Remembrance Day.

“We don’t have a formal observation of remembrance day,” he said. “We try to remember the issues of peace and justice every day.”

The idea of unity was what made the event such a success, as Chattai Ahuja of the Sikh community expressed.

“When we are together we [have] a better understanding. We are all the same. We’re all one,” he said, emphasizing how faiths can even co-operate globally in a similar fashion to the interfaith gathering.

It is these types of stories and gatherings that show how different peoples and faiths can come together and unite.

Ahuja made this point quite clear when he said: “The differences in people make [this world] a little more lively. So long as we have differences we can understand our differences and work towards building bridges and getting together.”