"Make America kind again," will be the mantra of a family friendly candlelight vigil to be held tonight (Friday, Nov. 18) from 6 to 7 p.m. at Fremont Park in downtown Menlo Park at the intersection of Santa Cruz Avenue and University Drive.
Event organizer Gail Sredanovic says this is her first time organizing a vigil, and the idea is to gather locals in a nonpartisan demonstration to "stand against bullying and hate."
She was inspired by other communities' actions and said, "Nothing has been happening in my neighborhood. People, I think, want a chance to express that they don't agree with being hateful and bullying. … I think it's important for children to see that adults are not in agreement with bullying."
She said she has contacted local Episcopal churches, St. Bede's and Trinity, and Rector Matthew Dutton-Gillett plans to attend. The event is ad hoc and informal, she said, but may include an invocation, some remarks, a song – and, in keeping with her skills as a retired teacher – perhaps a short lesson.
While the demonstration comes after the election of Donald Trump as the next U.S. president, Ms. Sredanovic said, "This is pretty much nonpolitical. (We're) not planning to address policies or parties. It's just an expression of humane support."
She said she's concerned about Mr. Trump's attitudes towards certain groups of people. Those attitudes have existed for a long time, she said, but only recently have been granted permission, validation and public expression.
She said she worries about what that means for kids in the community who are being taught other values. She hopes the event will show children "that the community has not gone mad."