Students and staff members gathered outside the East Campus on Friday evening for a candlelit vigil in honor of victims in the Newtown school shooting.
The shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown claimed 20 children’s lives and six adults, according to Newtown police reports. It is said to be the second deadliest school shooting in history. The NCC community came together in the form of a candlelit vigil in response to the recent violence.
“It is impressive how many people came. It shows that we care enough to take time out of our busy schedules,” said Ben Engel, president of student government.
The vigil was put together by the student government, service learning, and student activities department. Although the vigil was planned only days in advance, there were over 50 people in attendance.
“We purchased 98 candles, and there are no candles left,” said Aliana Perry, vice president of student activities.
There was an open microphone session, where students spoke, recited poetry and sang “Amazing Grace.” There were also speeches from Engel, Provost Pamela Edington and President David Levinson.
“As a community, we work together to look for solutions to make this a more peaceful world,” said Levinson.
Levinson and Edington both emphasized how tragedies affect everyone and how we must learn from them as not to repeat them. He mentioned hope for the future, safety regulations and themes of togetherness.
“We rely on each other for emotion support, and this vigil is just the beginning of people coming together to heal our collective broken heart,” said Edington, who stated she spoke from the perspective of both an administrator and a mother in her speech.
A banner with balloons was available for students and staff to sign and write messages on. It will be sent to Sandy Hook to comfort and support the families and friends of victims.
“It’s great that everyone in Connecticut is unifying to help people that they may not even know,” said student Blair Cassell.