UW-Madison students held a candlelight vigil Thursday evening at Library Mall to honor the lives lost in recent tragedies around the world.
The vigil recognized acts of violence in places such as Yemen and Brussels, as well as Thursday’s bridge collapse in Kolkata, India, and events that happen every day.
The Muslim Students Association, India Students Association, Amnesty International, Pakistani Students Association and Hmong American Student Association organized the event.
Wind prohibited the candles from igniting, but the group still held them in solidarity.
“The way people always come together and support each other is the most beautiful thing ever,” said UW-Madison student Ibtisam Ul Haq.
Ul Haq started the vigil with an introductory speech. He spoke of the importance of staying positive through hard times such as these.
“The truth is bad things are going to happen all the time,” Ul Haq said. “But it’s important to have the courage to keep moving forward and building peace in the world.”
Attendees were given time to reflect during two moments of silence.
Individuals could stand before the group and give personal messages. Students came forward and emphasized the importance of community and said that love was the most powerful emotion.
“The events of the past week affected a lot of people from a lot of different areas,” said Muslim Students Association president Hani Rustom. “I’m hoping this vigil brings people together, and that people find comfort and a safe space in this unity.”
Rustom promoted the Multicultural Student Center as a resource for students to discuss their feelings on recent events.
To conclude the event, a participant shared a reading that reiterated the necessity for people to unite in times such as this.