Group holds vigil for soldiers, civilians killed

People stand with candles as the names of the Illinois soldiers killed in Iraq are read off at the Alma Mater statue on Friday night. The Campus Antiwar Network held a candlelight vigil to pay tribute to soldiers and civilians killed in Iraq. Log onto ww Donald Eggert

People stand with candles as the names of the Illinois soldiers killed in Iraq are read off at the Alma Mater statue on Friday night. The Campus Antiwar Network held a candlelight vigil to pay tribute to soldiers and civilians killed in Iraq. Log onto ww Donald Eggert

By Michael Logli

For a handful of people, Friday marked a time of remembrance as the Campus Antiwar Network, an anti-war Registered Student Organization, held a candlelight vigil for all casualties of the Iraq war at the Alma Mater.

“It calls attention to the fact that there are people dying everyday,” said Maura Cotter, sophomore in LAS and Campus Antiwar Network member.

Cotter said she was not expecting huge numbers at the vigil because of the date, but the purpose of the vigil was not to create a huge congregation.

“I don’t expect them to think about it every day, but I think people forget sometimes,” Cotter said.

After displaying posters on the Alma Mater and lighting candles, Pete Rhomberg, sophomore in LAS and Campus Antiwar Network member, named Illinois soldiers who had died fighting overseas. There were almost 150 names in all.

“We want to enact positive change to bring the soldiers and contractors back,” Rhomberg said.

Rhomberg also talked about the current death toll. As of Tuesday, Rhomberg said 4,012 Americans had died with 29,620 wounded.

Karen Medina, graduate student, heard about the vigil Friday afternoon and had come to pay her respects. She said she believes that many people have lost hope on both sides that the situation will ever be resolved.

Mike Mlekowski, senior in FAA and an Iraqi War veteran who participated in the initial invasion, said events such as this are important to inform people of what is happening there. He said he believes the apathy on campus with regard to the war is disappointing.

“We’re here to honor the fallen and there are 10 people here,” Mlekowski said.