(Minghui.org) “Please sit by my side. Let us close our eyes in serenity. A voice is resounding from deep in our hearts: end the torture, end the killing, and end all suppression. Our compassion and perseverance will prevail,” said the host of a candlelight vigil at the Washington Monument on the evening on June 22.

This was the third day of Falun Dafa practitioners' large-scale activities in Washington D.C, following a rally and march on June 20, and an experience-sharing conference on June 21. Thousands of Falun Dafa practitioners and supporters, each with a candle in their hand, sat peacefully beneath the towering monument and looming storm clouds to commemorate the victims of the 19-year-long brutal persecution in China.

Thousands of Falun Dafa practitioners attended the candlelight vigil in front of Washington Monument on June 22, 2018.

Solidarity with Falun Gong

Joshua Fletcher, a resident of Washington D.C., joined the event to support Falun Gong.

Joshua Fletcher lives in Washington D.C. Several days ago, a few practitioners stayed in his rental apartment. Learning that they would attend this candlelight vigil event to commemorate practitioners killed in China for their faith, he decided to join them.

He said one of the practitioners' mother was arrested and detained. He felt compelled to show his support by attending the vigil.

Fletcher said he liked the peaceful environment. “The principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance are good, because they tell us how to be better people,” he explained. “They [these practitioners] are presenting positive values to this society. I think that is important.'

Passing on Traditional Values

Dein Altjorden and Denise, husband and wife from Sweden, said more people need to be informed of the persecution.

Dein Altjorden and Denise, husband and wife from Sweden, attended the event with their two-year-old daughter. “This candlelight vigil is important because we need to raise awareness of the persecution. Everyone should have the freedom to choose his or her belief. Plus, Falun Dafa is peaceful and it uplifts our minds,” said Dein.

He said many people did not know what is going on in China. “Many of the products we buy from stores might have been produced in labor camps or prisons in China. That is, such purchases could indirectly fuel the suppression of the Chinese people by the communist regime.” He said if such brutality, including forced organ harvesting were to happen in a neighboring country, such as Norway, people would pay much more attention. Thus, he feels he must do what he can to raise awareness.

Denise is from Zurich, Switzerland. “Several years ago, I went to see a Shen Yun performance. A practitioner then gave me a copy of Zhuan Falun and I finished reading it in two weeks. After that, my life began a new phase with lots of positive changes. I could handle conflicts much better and my family relationships improved significantly,” she said.

Bringing their two-year-old daughter on this trip was not easy, she said. “But I hope she will keep the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance in her heart, and pass it on to future generations,” she said.

A Person with Integrity

Daniel Solomon from Germany said Falun Dafa is amazing.

Daniel Solomon and his wife are from Munich, Germany. Daniel heard about Falun Dafa from his father in 2001.

“Practicing Falun Dafa broadened my view and improved my health as well as my moral integrity,” he said.

Daniel hopes Chinese people will learn the facts about Falun Dafa instead of blindly following the Communist Party. “About 100 million people are practicing it. The principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance are helping all of us become better people. If more people embrace these values, this will be a better world. I think this is really amazing.”