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Candlelight Vigil Held for Pittsburgh Victims

The Diversity Center, Gender and Sexuality Student Services, Women’s Center, and Jew Crew, at the University of Illinois Springfield held a candlelight vigil for the victims of the Tree of Life Synagogue shooting in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. This event took place on the afternoon of Nov. 2. Students showed up to the Diversity Center to pay respects to the victims and discuss the emotions that they felt in the aftermath of the shooting.

On the morning of Oct. 27, a lone gunman attacked the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. This became the deadliest attack on the American Jewish population, with eleven killed and six more wounded. The dead ranged in ages from 54 to 97.

The candlelight vigil started with a reading of a statement from a local rabbi with remarks on the shooting and what we are to do from here. After that, there was a reading of the names of the victims, along with a short biographical description of their lives. These descriptions gave an amount of humanity to the people who were felt like a part of a list before.

Everyone present was asked to give a moment of silence which lasted for about a minute or two. Everyone lit their candles and several students talked about their emotions in an open discussion.

Once that was finished, students and faculty were encouraged to write letters of support to the synagogue. The Diversity Center sent the letters to the synagogue as a sign of solidarity. The Jewish community both in Springfield and across America stands with the Tree of Life Synagogue, and it is important to show this support in times of tragedies such as this.

The love that is given in every tragedy outweighs the hate, and this is no exception.

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