By Brittany Reyes
Two bombs are all it took to traumatize a nation, and one tragedy is all it takes to unify a student body.
In the wake of the deadly bomb explosions that shook the city of Boston last week, 20 students at Loyola University Chicago attended a vigil Monday night to remember all those affected, and join in prayer and reflection.
One of the hosts of the event, Hannah Colborn, a 21-year-old junior studying communication, said that she organized the service to give students an opportunity to pray together and receive closure.
“I wanted to show that we are still a community and we do support each other,” Colborn said. “I wanted to show that there is friendship and love, despite all the bad things that happen.”
The vigil began with a moment of silence on the main quad of the university’s Lake Shore Campus in Rogers Park, as James Kang, a 23-year-old senior studying psychology and biology, strummed along on his guitar.
“Tonight was a way of showing solidarity, especially for Loyola students with Jesuit ideals. I didn’t know a lot of the people who showed up but they came to show support and love through God to the people of Boston,” Kang said.
Some students used this service to speak openly about their faith and convey their best wishes for all the victims, families, and caregivers involved.
“This is a time when people come together,” Bennett Csukor, a 18-year old freshman, said during the event. “I pray for a speedy recover for all those injured. I pray for the healing hands of all the doctors and nurses who are still taking care of many people.”
Though the vigil was initially planned to be a candlelight ceremony, students in attendance were instead asked to raise their cell phones in the air to illuminate the sky and pay tribute to a city almost a thousand miles away.
“I came to support my friend who put the event together and when I was there, I really got to see the way we show our love to people despite the distance,” said Luke Turley, 19, a sophomore communication studies major. “I was glad to be there.”
Kang said prayer is a good start to addressing issues in our personal lives but in terms of healing humanity, there is still more to be done.
“When approaching violence like this, we really need to look towards ourselves and see how we can better society,” Kang said. “We shouldn’t think that only heroes can do something big. There’s little ways we can help too.”