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Jan. 6-anniversary vigil part of nationwide effort

selectboard logo (May 29, 2019)
'Vigils for democracy are being held around the country ....'
       -- Eric Segal

Miss the event? Watch it on ACMi:

UPDATED Jan. 9: Jan. 6, 2021, is a date you may not be able to forget.

To make sure, town residents have scheduled a vigil on the one-year anniversary of the U.S. Capitol attack, which attempted to overturn the results of a legitimate U.S. presidential election.

The event set for Thursday, Jan. 6, from 6 to 7:30 p.m., in Whittemore Park was unanimously approved by the Select Board at its Dec. 20 meeting. 

The vigil also aims to “draw attention to the many assaults against democracy this year,” wrote Eric Segal, event coordinator, in an email to the board.

Whittemore Park is in Arlington Center, 611 Mass. Ave., in front of the Jefferson Cutter House, home of the Dallin Art Museum. 

“Vigils for democracy are being held around the country, with 150 vigils already planned, and likely more as the time approaches. Gerrymandering and voter suppression are important issues. That’s why we feel it’s important to have a vigil in Arlington, and on the Paul Revere route,” said Segal at the meeting. 

“Initially sponsored by the Universalist Unitarian church, which has space on the same corner as Whittemore Park, we want this to be a town event. Whittemore Park’s space is centrally located, which sends a message that it’s a town event,” added Segal.

Segal also requested that the holiday lights remain in place, to make it brighter, and that a Select Board member attend and address crowd.

Town Manager Adam Chapdelaine said he’ll do what he can to keep the lights in place. “However, it’s handled by a private contractor, so there are limits to what I can do.”

Semiquincentennial committee being formed

To commemorate the 250th anniversary of the start of the American Revolutionary War (April 19, 1775), townwide activities and other historical events will be held during April 2025. These events, related to the founding of our country, will be coordinated with local, state, regional and federal events.

A committee to develop a comprehensive plan for celebrating and promoting the semiquincentennial activities, along with identifying funding sources, was unanimously approved by the board. 

Membership criteria 

In material presented to the board, member John Hurd wrote:

“The following organizations shall be invited to appoint one representative or designee each: 

  • Select Board 
  • School Committee 
  • Arlington Tourism and Economic Development Committee 
  • Town Meeting (to be appointed by the moderator) 
  • Arlington Historical Society 
  • Arlington Delegation to the Battle Road Scenic Byway Committee 
  • Chamber of Commerce 
  • Arlington Commission for Arts and Culture 
  • Menotomy Minutemen 
Watch the whole Dec. 20 meeting on ACMi

Additionally, the Select Board shall appoint two members of the general public, preferably individuals with a background or interest in history, event planning, and/or logistics. All organizations providing representatives shall strongly be encouraged to consider matters of diversity, equity, and inclusion in making their designations.”

Board member Eric Helmuth said, “It’s important for the public to understand the events that happened. Arlington has received the short end of the stick with history and tourists, and we’d like to highlight Arlington’s contributions.” 

Dec. 16, 2021: Plan for Chestnut intersection repairs in motion after email-glitch delay

This news summary, by YourArlington freelance writer Susan Gilbert, was published Monday, Dec. 27, 2021, and updated Jan. 9, 2022, to add ACMi video window of vigil.

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