Monday evening of September 9, 2013, on two-days' notice, more than 80 local residents held a candlelight vigil in Ricalton Square on Maplewood Avenue calling on Congress to vote No on the authorization for US military action in Syria.
The vigil was hosted by South Mountain Peace Action as one of more than 200 vigils around the country coordinated by MoveOn.org, the antiwar group.
It was the second antiwar vigil held at Ricalton Square in two weeks.
The SMPA petition -- calling on Congress to vote No; for the President to refrain from military action and wait for the UN inspectors to complete their mission; and for the US to comply with the UN Charter -- was circulated at the vigil.
Speakers urged the President to refrain from war against Syria and to return to his long-held position that war should only be waged in self-defense or if authorized by the Security Council. Others emphasized the need for the US to address domestic issues rather than intervening in another country's civil war.
Speakers expressed the need to call and email New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez who has endorsed a military attack on Syria and Senator Jeffrey Chiesa, whose position is not known.
Speakers also expressed regret that Congressman Donald M. Payne Jr. remained "undecided" and that he failed to join 62 antiwar Democrats who sent a letter to President Obama calling for a Congressional vote and for a policy consistent with international law and in compliance with the UN Charter.
A moment of silence on behalf of those soldiers and civilians killed and injured in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan was concluded the vigil.