Mulberry's Unity Day counters Terry Jones' Quran burning

1:27 PM, Sep 11, 2013   |    comments
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Mulberry, Florida -- Originally planned as a rally against the Quran-burning antics of Terry Jones, this event became a rally for something: the magic of the American melting pot.

Planting construction-paper "pinwheels of peace" decorated by school children, people with a rainbow of skin tones, from faiths born around the world, gathered in little Mulberry to share a message.

"We do come together as Americans and we defend each others' beliefs, even if we don't agree with it... and I think that's a strong message we want to send the world," event organizer Suzanne Carter said.

Candles flickered to life with a shared flame, passed down a line of people by an amazing array of Baptists, atheists, Mormons, Muslims, and more.

The men and women stood side by side in the Mulberry Civic Center. Each paused to share a message about their religion, culture, and traditions, then turned to light their neighbor's candle.

Organizer Suzanne Carter started "Not in Mulberry" to show the world her community is about more than Terry Jones' closed-minded Quran burning. Her planned counter-protest merged with Unity Day USA and became something greater.

See Also: Pastor plans to burn 3,000 Qurans without permit

"We need to remember that the radicals from all different walks of life do not represent the common man -- the average person," Carter said.

Inspired, a stirring slice of America stood shoulder-to-shoulder, proudly, in this small town.

This event's organizers say if Terry Jones decides to take his operation to another place, they will travel to that community to try to help them spread the same, positive message.

Grayson Kamm, 10 News

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