The University combined its Hofstra Pride with Boston Pride on Thursday, April 18th, at a candlelight vigil for those affected by Monday’s Boston Marathon bombing.
Although the percentage Hofstra students hailing from New York is around 65%, this past week was all about Massachusetts in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings Monday that killed 3 people and injured hundreds more.
“The marathon is an international symbol of cooperation,” said freshman Kathryn Rogers, a Political Science major. “It’s not a physical landmark, but it’s still a spiritual landmark for the city.” The eighteen year old Haverhill, MA native was just one of the many who gathered in cooperative solidarity.
The vigil, put on by the Office of Student Affairs, started promptly at 6pm in front of Hofstra Hall amid winds and light drizzle. The weather seemed fitting as Peter Libman, Hofstra Dean of Students, gave opening remarks solemnly at a microphone podium.
“I’m always amazed at how caring and giving the Hofstra community is in the wake of tragedy,” said Libman as assistants handed out candles to those in attendance.
Libman spoke of those who died, especially the youngest victim, “joyful and innocent” Martin Richard, 8, who was hugging his father for finishing the race when the first bomb went off. Additionally, he referenced the heroes who ran towards the chaos without hesitation to help and quoted comedy Patton Oswalt giving a message to the bombers. “To evil: the good outnumber you—we will always win.”
In winning spirit, a number of students wore their Boston gear in solidarity with title town. Red Sox, Patriots, Bruins and Celtics logos were sprinkled in the crowd as Rev. Joyce Dugger, the University Protestant Chaplain, followed Libman. Uplifting the mood, Rev. Dugger offered spiritual perspective on the tragedy.
“God is real,” explained Dugger, “despite how we feel, we have to continue to pray…life will go on with their spirits.”
The brief speeches were succeeded by student performances by violinist Andrew Weinstein, a twenty year old Music History major, and two a capella groups; The Hofstra Dutchmen and Hof Beats.
The vigil finished up with a silent lap around Memorial Quad. This movement was in conjunction with the “Laps of Love for Boston” that took place earlier in the day at Hofstra’s Fitness Center. The walk was the 927th lap of the day to honor all the runners who never got to cross the finish line.
For a city over 200 miles away, Massachusetts natives and freshman dance majors Erin Caster and Julia Neto, both 18, appreciated the effort on the part of Hofstra’s community.
“I came back from home the day it happened,” said Caster of North Attleborough. “The worst part was not knowing and feeling helpless.”
“That’s why the vigil was really nice,” added Neto. “It really showed how much everybody cares”.
Photo Credits: Annik Spencer