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Sallie Gratch sent out an email to friends, asking them to gather in front of Century Theatres at 6:30 p.m. on Dec. 16.

Other communities were doing the same, she said, and I felt “very keenly that Evanston needed to be counted among the places that had a visible presence of making a statement, of not remaining silent.”

The vigils were for promoting peace and gun control and and curbing violence, in wake of the Connecticut tragedy, said Irv Badr, one of the participants. About 10 others joined Ms. Gratch and Mr. Badr in the vigil against violence.