Students attend A.S. vigil

Over 550 UCSD students and faculty attended a vigil held Thursday night to remember and celebrate the lives lost Sept. 11 in terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington, D.C.

Lyon Liew
Guardian
The vigil began with the distribution and lighting of candles at 8:30 p.m. The A.S. Council sponsored the event, which began with speeches given by event coordinator Lauren Lee, A.S. President Jeff Dodge and several key leaders from different religious communities.
Dodge opened the vigil, calling it a time to promote awareness, remember the victims and reflect upon the future.
“We can only express in condolences and feelings that we feel,” Muir freshman Kev Schnider said. “It’s not much, but it’s a small show of hope. We’re here to show that we’re not broken and that we can still come together.”

Lyon Liew
Guardian
Rev. Gary Anderson of the United Methodist Campus Ministry spoke of how all religions offered a common statement of consolation for the suffering.
David Weisberg spoke on behalf of Rabbi Lisa Goldstein, encouraging students that every little step made a difference in changing the world.
Nadia Aziz, a member of the Muslim Student Association, addressed the issue of discrimination and urged students not to respond to terror with terror.
“This tragedy did not discriminate by race, religion or sex when it struck, so we will not discriminate ourselves from one another as we stand here, people of this nation and of UCSD,” said Lee in her opening speech.
Time was left open for students to share their thoughts and emotions about the tragedy. Nearly 20 students of different ethnicities and religions spoke, expressing anti-war sentiments, giving encouragement or sharing personal reflections.
Many students cried as they thanked the crowd for showing up and for being part of a community that cared.
During the speeches, a silent slide show was being projected onto a screen off to the side. Black and white images of people coming together, shots of international flags raised at half-mast and images of the destruction were displayed.
“It was sad without being depressing,” said Muir freshman Jessica Nager. “The slides complemented the feeling of the vigil, like silent reminders of what had happened. It was inspiring because you saw the destruction in one slide and then people hugging and consoling each other in the next.”
Although the terrorist attacks occurred over two weeks ago, the vigil was planned to give students the opportunity to grieve and heal.
“I felt students — freshmen especially — would be confused about how to feel,” Lee said. “In a time when they should have been so happy starting with a new chapter, they were met with a tragedy. Tonight was a place for them to share.”
Lee went on to explain that she wanted students to know that it was okay to be sad and to be affected by the event.
After the vigil ended at 10:30 p.m., Lee commented that she was extremely pleased with the way the event turned out.
“So many students were willing to come up and share their personal thoughts and feelings,” she said. “That just astounds me.”

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