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Northeastern community comes together at campus vigil

Several hundred students, faculty, staff, and university leaders gathered together Tuesday afternoon for a campus vigil, where they talked, held hands, and sang in solidarity a day after the deadly Boston Marathon bombings occurred about one mile from campus.

Some Northeastern community members donned their marathon attire at the vigil, called “A Time for Remembrance, Reflection, and Resilience” and held at 4 p.m. in the Curry Student Center Ballroom. Throughout the event, attendees wept, hugged each other, and listened intently to the calming reflections and prayers.

Robert Jose, associate dean for cultural, residential, and spiritual life, opened the vigil by noting that while our community has been wounded, it is in these times of doubt, confusion, and fear that we must stand together.

“It’s important in great moments of hurt and pain that we rally around those things that strengthen us and lift us up,” Jose said.

Jose emphasized the importance of remembering what has happened so that we can reflect and emerge from crises a stronger community.

“Often in times of great pain, we want to hit the delete button. But we must remember, and let that remembrance spur us on to vigilance. We are free people, but vigilance is the price of freedom,” he said.

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President Joseph E. Aoun acknowledged members of the Northeastern community who sprung into action Monday. They included physical therapy students and faculty working in a medical tent at the marathon finish line, public safety officials who coordinated with Boston emergency responders, and a host of university staff who reached out to members of the Northeastern community in need of assistance.

On Tuesday, Aoun and Philomena Mantella, senior vice president of enrollment management and student life, visited with three students and two parents who were injured in the blasts and were recovering at Tufts Medical Center and Boston Medical Center. The attacks claimed three lives and injured more than 140 people on the Patriots Day holiday during one of Boston’s most cherished traditions.

The vigil also featured several moving prayers from Center for Spirituality, Dialogue and Service staff from a variety of faiths.

A variety of resources are available to those in need, including support from staff at University Health and Counseling Service, the Center for Spirituality, Dialogue and Service. Students in need of assistance may also contact the WeCare program at wecare@neu.edu or 617–373-4384. Northeastern faculty and staff may contact the Employee Assitance Program at 877–739-3989.

“If you know anyone, any member of the community or extended community who has been hurt, who needs help, or who needs comfort, let us know,” Aoun said. “We are here for each other.”

The event concluded with those gathered together singing the song “Peace, Salaam Shalom.”

Video: Students reflect on the tragedy and the importance of coming together as a community.