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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Candlelight vigil honors Paris victims

Photo by Valerie Gunchick

Students looked on as the Ross Volunteers formed a path for French international students to be escorted down. 

Three days after Paris underwent a series of terrorist attacks that killed 129 people, Academic Plaza was filled with A&M students holding a silent vigil honoring the victims.
Organized by the students of the A&M chapter of Amnesty International, the vigil included 129 candles representing each of the people who died in the attacks and French international students bearing roses.
Benoit Marceau, French international student and civil engineering senior, participated in the vigil. Marceau said while he fortunately didn’t have any family or friends hurt in the attacks, he is familiar with the Bataclan theatre, where 89 people were gunned down by terrorists Friday.
“When you know the concert hall like that, it really makes you feel bad,” Marceau said. “I still mourn for the people who are dead — it’s absolutely tragic. I consider myself very lucky not to know anyone in my entourage.”
Kristina Gaddy, international studies senior, said it’s important for students at A&M to be aware of international terrorist attacks and the effects they have worldwide.
“I’m an international studies major, so anything that goes on in the world is important, not just here in our own territory, because it all affects us one way or another,” Gaddy said. “We’re similar countries, so I think that’s a personal connection right there.”
Dewanna Lewis, executive of public relations for TAMU Amnesty and race and gender studies junior, said she attributes social media to playing a big role in gathering a crowd for the vigil.
“The amount of responses we had the first moment we decided to publicize it and put it on social media was amazing,” Lewis said. “We got over 1,000 likes.”
In terms of personal connection, Lewis said showing sympathy for those affected by the attacks in Paris is vital.
“Even though we may not be from these countries, at the same time, these countries actually mourned for us when we had things going on here that were so tragic,” Lewis said. “It’s big on our part to show compassion and we’re empathetic and understand these families have lost people that they will never see again and it’s such a tragic thing.”

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