“Peace and Unity” Prevails in Washington County, 2004
“Peace and Unity” Prevails in Washington County
Several events were held throughout Washington County in response to the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) march in Sharpsburg on August 28, 2004. Rather than confront or directly protest the KKK, the purpose of these events was to depict and promote a sense of love, peace and unity.
Among these was an early morning inter-faith church service held at the Dunker Church located on the Antietam National Battlefield. Located directly adjacent to the town of Sharpsburg, the event was organized by citizens who wanted to do "something positive for the community" and was attended by about 60 people. Elsewhere on the battlefield and later in the afternoon, a peace and unity rally was conducted and attended by many seeking a "non-confrontational outlet to express their opposition to the KKK rally." Vans shuttled visitors from the battlefield's visitor center to the rally site where storytellers, music and food could also be found. Within Sharpsburg itself, residents provided free pizza and sodas to dozens of teenagers and others who stayed away from the rally. And in nearby Keedysville, another gathering focusing upon peace and unity was being held, this in conjunction with the annual Keedysville Ruritan Festival. In each case organizers and attendees noted that by staying away from the KKK event and avoiding confrontation the hope was to limit the publicity and attention hoped for by the KKK in staging such marches.
Information for this page came from two newspaper articles entitled, “Events held to promote peace, unity,” by Candice Bosely and appearing in the Hagerstown Herald-Mail, August 29, 2004, and "Residents rally around love as Klan comes to town," by Larry Bingham, The Baltimore Sun, August 29, 2004.
Photographs of the Dunker Church service and participants in a peace and unity rally taken by Albert L. Feldstein. The shirts read, "We Believe in Love Not Hate in Washington County."
Allegany County, Maryland
African Americans, History; Allegany County (Md.), History.
Allegany County (Md.), 1890-2008