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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, September 21, 2006

Wai'anae to hold nonviolence vigil tonight

By Will Hoover
Advertiser Leeward Oahu Writer

"From Violence to Wholeness" is the theme of a candlelight procession and prayer vigil organized in the wake of recent violence in Wai'anae, including a beating death on Sept. 2 and the burning of an area church 10 days later.

The vigil is set to start at 6:30 p.m. today at Wai'anae Mall.

Organizers say the intent of the vigil is to bring the community closer while helping it to heal and move forward in a positive way.

The procession will move from the mall, follow Farrington Highway through Wai'anae Town, and pause at the parking lot of Waianae Market, where Roger Haudenshild, 46, was killed, and less than a mile from where arsonists caused $2.5 million in damage to Wai'anae Chapel of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The procession will end at the back of McDonald's, where shuttles will take participants back to Wai'anae Mall. Organizers have asked participants to wear bright clothing and bring candles, flashlights, bells, chimes and conch shells.

"We will stop right in front of the market and do a little service," said the Rev. Kaleo Patterson, president of Pacific Justice and Reconciliation Center, which organized the vigil. "The objective is to go there and say some prayers and a few words nothing too long. Mostly it's to get people together and work to have a healthy community with good, strong values.

"I think the Wai'anae community can use a lot of support right now. If we can get people out, I know they're going to have a good time. And they're going to be transformed."

The vigil was timed to coincide with a worldwide day of nonviolence.

"We encourage everybody to come," said Ha'aheo Guanson, executive director of the center, which is based in Honolulu. "Because Sept. 21 is the United Nations International Day of Peace. So this is a wonderful way to celebrate being in solidarity with one another, and showing that there is hope, there is light, and that violence does not have to be the way."

The International Day of Peace began in 1981 to coincide with the opening session every September of the United Nations General Assembly.

"We're moving on," said Patterson, who grew up in Makaha. "We're going to work harder at being a community. We're lifting up some light and pushing aside the darkness."

Reach Will Hoover at whoover@honoluluadvertiser.com.