The sun was already setting as students rushed to get to their next class or to head home after a tiring day of school. But that night, with candles held in their hands flickering in the darkness, about 100 students, the  majority of whom were strangers to each other, mourned as one.

On April 17, Stony Brook Compliments held a vigil for the three victims of the bombings in Boston—two young women and an eight-year old boy. The incident shocked the nation as two bombs detonated during Boston’s annual marathon.

The vigil was led by two Stony Brook Compliments members who do not wish to be identified for this article and Sister Sanaa Nadim, the Muslim Student Association’s Chaplain.

Nadim began the vigil with a Christian prayer followed by an Islamic prayer, assuring students that although

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Muslim Student Association Chaplain Sister Sanaa Nadim tells students that while "everything may be grim today, tomorrow will always be better." (METSHA RENOIS/ THE STATESMAN)
Muslim Student Association Chaplain Sister Sanaa Nadim, right, tells students that while “everything may be grim today, tomorrow will always be better.” (METSHA RENOIS/ THE STATESMAN)

There was then a moment of silence in remembrance of those lost and injured. Those present expressed their feelings, with words of comfort passed around and embraces exchanged.

Freshman theatre arts major Xixi Ling attended the vigil because she had family living in Boston and was worried for their safety. She had also applied to a college in Boston and loved visiting the city.

“I just appreciate that everyone [her friends and family] is safe,” she said.

Senior linguistics major Michelle Tulcan had friends who were present at the marathon. She remembered coming home from the dentist and realizing that she could not get in contact with any of her friends.

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“I was terrified that something had happened,” she said. ”If I was scared just not knowing where my friends were, and not even sure that they were there, imagine the people who were sure that their friends were there or their family.”

Senior chemistry major Michael Saccomanno had no family or friends in Boston. However, when he heard about the incident, he said he felt “total shock.”

Saccomanno decided to attend the vigil to pay his respects to the victims and those who came to the assistance of the injured.

Nadim parted from the students with these words: “There is no difference between the humans of the world. And that we all seek contentment and we all seek peace. Let not their pain and passing be in vain. Let us all tonight believe that through the rubbles of despair, we can truly build castles of hope.”

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