UCSD supports unity and peace with another vigil

Students and faculty gathered Oct. 2 at the Price Center Plaza to remember the victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and to promote tolerance and respect in the face of violence.

Lyon Liew
Guardian

A.S. Council organized the event to coincide with “”A Celebration of Abilities,”” which is a part of part of Disabilities Awareness Week.

The half-hour vigil, “”A Time for Remembrance and Reflection,”” began at 12:30 p.m.

Opening speaker A.S. Vice President Internal Jenn Brown dedicated the event to the victims of terrorism in New York City and Washington, D.C. and also to “”victims of bigotry and hate everywhere since Sept. 11.””

Lyon Liew
Guardian

Brown asked for a moment of silence, after which Al Hilde and Chris Nodland of the UCSD Veterans’ Association posted colors. “”Taps”” was played and vocalist Patty Hutchings sang “”The Star-Spangled Banner.””

Chancellor Robert C Dynes then spoke, recalling the “”horror, anger and sorrow,”” as well as the “”confusion, disbelief and deep loss”” he felt after the tragedy.

At a memorial held Sept. 14, he urged students to “”pray for the dead, for the loved ones they left behind, for the injured and the rescue workers.””

“”Diversity is at the core of our heritage of freedom,”” Dynes said. “”Last month, we struck a new obstacle: terrorism. Freedom for all is threatened. If we give in to fear and hatred, the terrorists will have defeated us.””

A.S. President Jeff Dodge also advocated tolerance in the aftermath of terror.

“”We on the UCSD campus must work to create a space where hate and vengeance do not exist,”” Dodge said. “”We must rally behind the principles that unite us as Americans.””

Academic Senate Chair Michael Bernstein also spoke.

“”Let us try to remember the world before Sept. 11,”” Bernstein said.

Bernstein also reminded the group that “”violence, no matter how brutal and twisted, has a reason.””

He challenged the audience to consider a larger picture.

“”Around the world, Sept. 11 happens every day,”” Bernstein said. “”Perhaps not on the same scale, not so spectacularly. But terror is everywhere.””

He said that understanding that would bring Americans closer to real safety.

Catherine Salsman of the Graduate Student Association gave an impassioned plea to “”make international students feel welcome.”” Salsman said, claiming that their contributions are vital to the success of the school, she said.

Salsman urged students to oppose Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s proposal for a moratorium on student visas.

“”We have to prevent Sept. 11 from destroying our peaceful diversity,”” Salsman said.

Hutchings concluded the ceremony by singing “”America the Beautiful.””

Shireen Ghorbani, a Roosevelt senior, was disappointed that not everyone seemed to be paying attention during the event.

“”I thought the speakers made some very good points,”” Ghorbani said. “”I hope people listened and thought about what was said.””

About 400 people came to the gathering, Dodge said. The council scheduled the vigil so that most students would not have class at the same time.

“”We wanted to have as many people as possible be able to attend,”” Dodge said. “”It was a great turnout for the middle of the day.””

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