Students remember fallen U.S. soldiers

Students and community members stand in front of Foellinger Auditorium on Thursday night in memory of the 1,000 American troops who have lost their lives since the beginning of the Iraq war. MoveOn.org sponsored the vigil. Online Poster

Students and community members stand in front of Foellinger Auditorium on Thursday night in memory of the 1,000 American troops who have lost their lives since the beginning of the Iraq war. MoveOn.org sponsored the vigil. Online Poster

By Maureen Wilkey

About 50 students gathered on the steps of Foellinger Auditorium on Thursday night at 8 p.m. for a candlelight vigil to commemorate the deaths of the 1,000 American soldiers killed in Iraq.

The vigil was one of many across the nation sponsored by moveon.org. Lauren Brownstone, sophomore in LAS, organized the vigil after reading about it on the moveon.org Web site.

“I looked up our area, and there were no events within 10 miles of here, so I decided to organize one here,” Brownstone said. “But we decided to make it non-religious and non-political in order to include everyone’s views.”

After she decided to organize the event, Brownstone e-mailed everyone whose address she knew and asked them to forward on the e-mail to as many people as possible. She said she was hoping to get a wide variety of people to attend and think about the deaths of the soldiers and civilians in Iraq.

Celine Browning, sophomore in FAA, helped Brownstone organize the event. Browning spent much of the day on Wednesday looking up song lyrics and poems on the Internet that she could read at the vigil. She tried to stay with the non-political, non-religious theme. She said she hopes the vigil will help bring people together.

    Sign up for our newsletter!

    “We should foster a sense of community, which is sometimes hard to find on such a large campus,” Browning said. “People need to feel connected to the war and the humanity. We are losing lives and this is a really important thing to think about.”

    Although the organizers wanted a non-political rally, Jared Moraska, freshman in engineering, said he believes it would be very hard to create a vigil free of political statement.

    “I came out here because I don’t think we should be in the war in the first place,” Moraska said. “I can understand why it is non-religious, we do want to be inclusive to everybody, but I don’t think you’ll find a Republican out here.”

    David Sidney, senior in FAA, said he believes the non-political view is the best one to take.

    “This is the least we can do for the soldiers overseas,” Sidney said. “We have to set politics aside. Whether we are for or against the war, we have to realize that there are people out there sacrificing their lives for us every day.”