Braving the freezing cold temperatures and wet snow, a somber crowd of 11 students gathered on the steps of the CSU administration building at 8 p.m. Tuesday.
The students were there to pay tribute to the victims and families of the bombing attack that left three dead and over 170 wounded at Monday’s Boston Marathon.
Word about the vigil, organized by business and finance senior David Ferguson, was spread through social media.
“I wanted to try to bring a group of people together to show positivity and a sense of community at a time when fear and anger might be the initial go-to emotion,” Ferguson said. “This is kind of a last-minute thing I threw together for CSU students.”
After posting on CSU Confessions and other social media, Ferguson spent the afternoon gathering supplies and making a homemade sign that hung between the columns saying, “CSU Loves Boston.”
Huddled together at the top of the stairs and holding miniature American flags, candles and other lights, the assembled students listened to music and had a few minutes of silence.
Some leaned on friends or hugged each other as they talked quietly among themselves.
About 100 artificial candles were spread out over the steps of the administration building.
One CSU student affected by yesterday’s tragic event at the Boston Marathon was CSU freshman heath and exercise science major Maggie Miller. Miller is feeling very grateful. Her brother, Michael, and her aunt were watching the race in support of Michael’s fiancé, Rachel, and Miller’s uncle.
“My brother’s fiancé and my uncle are big runners,” Miller said. “Rachel had already finished the race and was back at the hotel with her family, but my brother had stayed with my aunt to wait for my uncle to finish.”
Michel and Miller’s aunt were only half a block away from the explosions.
“Michael said he heard a loud blast, and then another 10 seconds later,” Miller said.
Miller said her uncle was still running the race and was about half of a mile away from the blasts. He had his phone with him and he was contacted and told what was going on.
“I was sitting in bio class and saw a tweet about what had happened,” Miller said. “I saw a picture of a street splattered with blood and flyers were everywhere.”
She said she had no idea what was going on or the scale of it, and due to cell phone towers being shut down, contacting anyone in Boston was nearly impossible except by text message.
When Miller spoke to her brother this morning, she said that he seemed very shook up — he is usually a very happy person, so Miller said it was weird to see that side of him.
“I don’t know what I would have done if I lost any of them,” Miller said. “ It made me realize how thankful I am that everyone is OK.”
Ferguson said this had been the first time he had ever done something like organize a vigil.
“I was just reflecting, thinking about it last night — tragedy after tragedy,” Ferguson said. “It feels like there’s nothing you can do, so I thought I’d try to present an opportunity for the CSU community to come together and show support.”
Alexandria Yerkes-Klatt, a junior psychology and criminal justice double major came to the vigil with her friend Jared Mcqueer. They both found out about the vigil through Facebook.
“When these things happen, communities need to pull together and support each other,” said Yerkes-Klatt.
Mcqueer, a senior landscape architecture major, said he came to commemorate the people who lost their lives and to have a sense of solidarity with others who are grieving.
“It’s tragic. Nobody should have to go through that,” Mcqueer said. “You’re there to have fun and someone comes and takes innocent lives away.”
Senior Reporters Corrie Sahling and Austin Briggs can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.