On Monday night religious leaders of every denomination gathered in solidarity on Nyack’s Main Street to memorialize Daunte Wright, a young father was fatally shot by a Minneapolis police officer during a traffic stop last Sunday. Hezekiah Easter Park was adorned with pictures of not only Wright but other recent victims of police brutality as the community gathered to grieve. As much a sermon as it was a vigil, Rockland’s religious leaders used the event to encourage everyone in their community to reject hate and violence and remember the value of human life.
“We come here today while we should be beaten down busted and disgusted we have come to stand one more time,” said Pastor Greg Merriweather, “god has given us the strength to stand here on this evening.” Pastor Merriweather and his fellow religious leaders urged the crowd not to succumb to apathy, and instead advocate for a more inclusive society in the face of adversity. “We cannot become desensitized to the destruction of black and brown bodies” warned the pastor “because all lives cannot matter until black lives matter” Joining together in prayer and song, the crowd peacefully condemned systemic racism.
Pastor Merriweather was joined by Pastor Carl Washingiton, Father Ownen Thompson and Rabbi Ariel Russo.