MILWAUKEE — One by one, a pair of shoes was added to a crèche outside of the Redeemer Lutheran Church at a vigil on Wednesday.
Each pair represented a Palestinian and Israeli child who lost their life because of the Isreal-Hamas War.
Reverend Lisa Bates-Froiland is a part of the Wisconsin Christians for Justice in Palestine group. The group has called for an immediate ceasefire and an end of military aid to Israel.
“But to see each individual pair of shoes, little tiny baby shoes [and] toddler shoes,” said Bates-Froiland. “To know there was a life that could have used those shoes that has no use for them anymore.”
The group was created just a week ago.
“Several of us like-minded clergy got together and [quickly organized] the Wisconsin Christians for Justice in Palestine,” said Bates-Froiland. “It’s some act of pastors, several retired pastors and some lay individuals. In addition to Christians, some Universalists as well.”
Sandy Pasch, a representative from the Jewish Voice for Peace, said it’s hard to sit back and watch thousands of innocent children suffer.
“I don’t understand how anyone cannot call for a ceasefire when this happening,” said Pasch. “We knew when this started thousands and thousands of children were going to be impacted because the population of Gaza is quite young.”
Both women agreed something needs to be done and said they’ll continue to use their voices until children are no longer in danger.
“Committed to peace and committed to an end to the violence, especially as it’s impacting so many civilians,” said Bates-Froiland.
Bates-Froiland said the Wisconsin Christians for Justice in Palestine group will continue to meet and hold vigils for the lives lost.