Members of the Northeastern community joined together for a vigil of “remembrance, reflection, and resilience” Tuesday afternoon in the wake of the Boston Marathon explosions.
Students and faculty filled Curry Center Ballroom and spilled out into the lobby. They came together quietly, somber but peaceful, exchanging only hushed tones, looks of encouragement, and hugs.
“We’ve been hurt as a community, we’ve been wounded. We’ve been knocked down to our foundation,” said Bob Jose, associate dean of cultural, residential and spiritual life. But what also happens when the wounds are raw -- like the ones that were experienced yesterday -- is confusion, doubt, and on the back of that crawls up fear that threatens to paralyze us. It is important in times of great hurt and pain that we rally around those things that strengthen us and lift us up.”
Jose said that just before the vigil began, he was on Twitter where he found something fitting for the community.
“When Gotham City needs a hero, it calls Batman. When Boston needs a hero, they look to the person next to them,” he said. “We together here, we will be the reason that this community pulls through.”
Spiritual leaders from the Center for Spirituality, Dialogue and Service offered prayers and words of solace.
President Joseph E. Aoun acknowledged the pain felt by the community at large by this “ugly and senseless act of terror,” but focused on celebrating the physical therapy and nursing students as well as various runners who were first responders.
He thanked public safety, staff, and faculty for making the community feel safe and supported, and urged those who know of anyone affected to inform the university.
Aoun said the university decided to keep the campus open on purpose.
“Not only because we don’t want terror to paralyze us, but because it is in these times that we need each other,” he said, adding that some suggested it was too early for a vigil.
“It’s never too early to be together -- to hug each other. It’s never too early to say ‘I am here for you,’” he said. “We are here for you. And each one of us is here for the other.”
Dan Arias, a student, sang “Peace, Salaam, Shalom.” The whole assembly joined him, echoing “We believe in peace” and “We will work for peace.”
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