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As Trump Takes the Oath of Office, People Gather for a Silent Inauguration in Fredericksburg

By Susan Larson. Photos copyright Robert A. Martin for Fredericksburg.Today

As Donald Trump took the oath of office, some 300 people gathered in silence and prayer in Fredericksburg.

Fredericksburg resident Anne Little spearheaded the Silent Inauguration, after hearing about an event planned in Nashville, Tennessee. “Our purpose is to show Donald Trump that many millions reject his divisive messages and wish to turn away from his words of hate and exclusion,” Little said.

The program included the Pledge of Allegiance, led by Joel Fletcher; the Star Spangled Banner, sung by Chris Johns; and remarks by Rev. Doug McCusker of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Fredericksburg.

Anne Little introduced 15 minutes of silence with the following words:

“I invite you to join me in observing 15 minutes of silence. This is not a protest. This is a way for us to show love and respect for our country.  In contrast to the noise and vitriol of this past presidential campaign, we will be quiet. In contrast to the demeaning rhetoric and hateful division towards our fellow Americans, we will offer silent support and community. Silence is a powerful thing.

“Silence is an opportunity for us to meditate or pray.  In silence, we can express gratitude, find courage, summon hope, and pray for peace and healing. In silence, we can say, ‘God help us. Be with us at this moment. Heal our nation.’

“We are here to bear witness to the fact that we want a country that is inclusive, respectful, lifts up the marginalized, and empowers all. We do not need to bring others down in order to raise ourselves up. Love and respect are not a zero sum game.

“Let us join together as we extend prayers and thoughts to those who have been marginalized, criticized, and hurt.  Join me in showing that many millions reject the divisive messages and hate that have torn us apart over the past year.

“Let us go into 15 minutes of silence to help heal our souls and emerge with a renewed purpose to help make our country a place of peace, love and inclusion.

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