vigil for peace 'favorite hour of the week'
By Kirk Salisbury
May 5, 2009 | Cache Valley residents gather every
Friday evening in front of the Logan Tabernacle alongside
Main Street, displaying anti-war signs as part of what
they call a peace vigil.
"We don't protest against war, instead we stand
for peace," said Peggy Neuber, who is a regular
peace vigil attendant.
The group has a steady attendance of six to 12 people
for the hourlong stand that begins at 5 p.m. in front
of the tabernacle. "Regardless of weather conditions,
we have always had somebody there," said Brenda
Chung, a regular attendant of the vigil.
The peace vigil began in September 2005 when Rachel
Carroll, a then-Utah State University student, wanted
to go to Salt Lake City on International Peace Day,
but was unable to travel that evening for the peace
gathering there. Instead she gathered friends in Logan.
The first to attended included several high school students,
were proud to stand for peace and they began meeting
unofficially at the tabernacle every Friday. Others
have become a part by word of mouth and invitation from
"It has become my favorite hour of the week,"
said Peggy Neuber. Those who attend feel this is a time
that they get to practice their given right of freedom
"In this country when we don't like something,
we don't have to agree. We have the freedom of speech,
and to raise our voice in letting others know we don't
agree with our leaders and what they are doing,"
When the peace vigil began, Chung said the public
attitude in general was much more negative. Those holding
signs were often yelled at or greeted by the "one-finger
"There was one diesel truck driver who would intentionally
get really close to where we stand, and speed up. It
was close enough that it would spray rubble on us. .
. . The police once caught them in the act, and we haven't
seen that person back since," Chung said.
As time has gone on, support for the war has diminished,
and people passing by have become more friendly, honking
in a friendly way, giving thumbs up, and waving. Approval
has gone from a minority to a majority.
"Just recently one young man actually came out and
shook each of our hands and thanked us individually.
He explained he had just returned from Iraq. He had
seen us before his military service, and would think
of us while he was in Iraq," Chung said.
Many of the attendants are proud to make their stand
for peace, and practice their freedom of speech right
here in this country. "Even if they (people passing
by) don't agree with us, they have become more accepting
of us practicing our right in a democratic society,"
"I'm from the '60s. When we didn't like something
we got up and did something about it," Neuber said.
The biggest group to gather was on the anniversary
of the Iraq war two years ago, about 40 attended that
day. The larger crowd came because of Marshall Thompson,
a journalism student from USU. Thompson had just finished
his tour of duty in Iraq and walked the whole state
of Utah to raise the public attention about Iraq. The
peace vigil, with Thompson, helped raise public interest
regarding the Iraq war.
All are welcome to attend the peace vigil, they ask
for anybody to bring a sign and say what they want to
say. There is no official organization or sponsor of
the weekly event, but Cache
Valley Peace Works promotes and advertises it in
the Utah Statesman and other sources.