Special to The Standard
The clouds broke to reveal a perfect day for the dedication and unveiling of Purple Light Nights’ second bench in Hope, at Silver Creek elementary school. Just before lunch, all the children gathered on the new playground that community spirit worked together to build. So, it was only fitting that a bench become a special part of this very special place that will help shape the future of the children and families of Hope.
This year’s campaign theme, “I have a voice!” echoed to the hills and mountains as the children affirmed their voices. Children gently placed purple and white flowers on the bench in respect for the solemnity of the occasion and in remembrance of those who have been victims of domestic violence.
Patricia John, Elder of the Chawathil Band, shared a wonderful story which held the children’s attention as she blessed the bench and all those present. Principal Bruce Becker spoke briefly to the students and spoke of the laying of flowers on the bench and thanked the committee and all contributing organizations for their kind and thoughtful addition to the wonderful playground. Representing the District of Hope, Councillor Victor Smith spoke briefly. Councillor Heather Stewin, District of Hope Councillor and long-time member and supporter of the Purple Lights Committee was also present, along with Marianne Brueckert of Victim Services and other members and volunteers of the Purple Light Nights.
This dedication concludes another successful campaign for shining a light on domestic violence. It is hoped that the children of Silver Creek will lead the way to a brighter future, void of all forms of domestic violence and sharing the knowledge the campaign has created and encouraging them – and all of us – to realize we have a voice and that together, we can speak up for ourselves and for others who are reluctant to use their voices.
The bench serves as a reminder that we as a community must come together to shine a bright light on the many faces of domestic violence – physical, emotional, psychological, financial. We must all use our voices to speak up and let it be known that it is not welcome here and will have no place to hide.