A group of people gathered in Steinbach on Sunday afternoon to walk for peace, drawing attention to the thousands of lives lost in the war in Israel.
After the walk, people of all ages gathered at the piece of the Berlin Wall at the Mennonite Heritage Village, where a vigil was led by Alexandra Ross.
“This was a way of saying, beyond where people find themselves in terms of sides of this conflict, I think it’s important to recognize the dignity of each person,” she says.
The vigil included placing over 13,000 small clay flowers on the ground around the section of the Berlin Wall, representing each person who has died in Israel and Gaza since October 7th when Hamas militants launched a deadly attack.
“The largest massacre of Jewish civilians since the Holocaust,” Ross said during the ceremony. “Let us mark and hold space for the more than 12,000 Palestinians who have been killed. The majority of whom are children.”
Ross and her friends carefully crafted each flower for this ceremony.
“I work with clay, and I think the medium itself lends itself to a visual thought. This is unfired clay, so this is earth, and it will go back to earth,” she says.
Ross says that the Berlin Wall section in Steinbach is physical proof that walls can come down and hostilities can cease.
Gary Dyck led the group in prayer, and said, “This is not right. It's not fair. And we just want the world to know that. We ask for an end to the violence and to the war, and for true peace to come to that land.”
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