BU community honors Va. Tech

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BU community honors Va. Tech

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<b>Candelight vigil marks one week after shootings</b>

By: Jenna Nierstedt
Posted: 4/24/07

Though many Boston University community members gathered last week at a candlelight vigil to remember the victims of the Virginia Tech shootings, a few students were not ready to let the flames extinguish just yet.

Late last week, those students organized another vigil for yesterday evening, in which about 50 students and staff came together again for prayer and the chance to express their emotions on Marsh Plaza.

Though the winds were too strong for most of the candles to remain lit, Rheanne Wirkkala, who helped organize the vigil, stood on the steps of Marsh Chapel and said the fact that the community had gathered again was just as meaningful as each candle burning.

"It&#39;s easy Tuesday and Wednesday and Thursday when you constantly see it in the news to keep remembering, but we hope that people will remember a week later and a month later and a year later," the College of Arts and Sciences junior said afterward.

The crowd huddled together to try to block the wind from blowing out candles, as Dean of Students Kenneth Elmore jokingly asked Marsh Chapel dean Robert Hill to direct a prayer to calm the wind.

"Maybe in some way, I&#39;d like to hope and think that the wind is moving down south to the good folks in Virginia, and maybe they&#39;ll hear our songs, smell the lit candle and know that we are thinking about them," Elmore said afterward.

Hill led a prayer calling for BU to "withstand what we can&#39;t understand" and "to offer ourselves for one another."

"How do we do something here that can resonate somewhere else," Elmore said, "and how do we also send a strong message to the world -- that we do matter and that we think other people matter?"

CAS junior Caitlyn Hessell expressed her feelings through a song she sang while playing guitar on the Marsh steps.

"Just seeing that some of the victims had everything taken away from them, it was just more intense knowing that I [have] this whole life ahead of me after graduation and that some of them didn&#39;t," Hessell said.

"When things are really bad and tragic, I think that people tend to really shine and be there for one another," she continued.

"I think that the biggest thing is to talk to one another, both in reflection and just in general, so that that kind of thing doesn&#39;t have to happen," Wirkkala said, "so that people on campus don&#39;t feel alienated and people do feel like they are part of a community."

Hill encouraged those who came to the vigil to sign a poster, where people could share their thoughts with the Virginia Tech community. The board has been receiving signatures for five days, and BU will send it to the Blacksburg, Va. campus within the next few days.

"The response of the community shows that Boston University continues to be a personal and caring environment," Hill said. "We try to respond with a sense of purpose and meaning."

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Original Source:<a href=http://media.www.dailyfreepress.com/media/storage/paper87/news/2007/04/24/News/Bu.Community.Honors.Va.Tech-2876853.shtml> The Daily Free Press - April 24, 2007</a>

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Jenna Nierstedt

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The Daily Free Press

Date

2007-08-13

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Sara Hood

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Matt Negrin <editor@dailyfreepress.com>

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eng

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Jenna Nierstedt, "BU community honors Va. Tech," in The April 16 Archive, Item #1032, http://www.april16archive.org/items/show/1032 (accessed July 22, 2014).