2,300 miles from Las Vegas, students commemorated a tragedy's victims

MANSFIELD, P.a. (18 NEWS) - More than 2,300 miles, students stood shoulder to shoulder with their voices in unison. That's how the students at Mansfield University commemorated the victims of Sunday's concert shooting in Las Vegas.

The Unity Rally, as it was dubbed, was organized by Lynn Johnson, the director of the university's United Campus Ministry.

"Whenever there's a tragedy, I as person of ministry feel we need to come together as a community," Johnson said, "to have an opportunity to mourn, to grief together, to comfort and console one another."

On a table stood 59 candles, each one lit to pay homage to those whom lost their lives. Many more candles were shared among the students. helping to brighten a dark time in history.

"it's not, like, about one-upping each other, it's not about anything like that," Meghan Weber, a student at the rally, said. "It's about really showing love for each other and just being there for one another."

One of Mansfield University's very own was at the concert when the shooting happened. That person made it out alright.

"It's just scary to think that he went there with, like, he was so excited and, you know, thinking he was going to have this great trip," Sarah LeFrance, another student at the rally said. "I mean, I'm sure his trip was still wonderful, but that kind of, you know, you don't go to concerts expecting things like that to happen."

"People were openly weeping and sad and concerned for his safety and well-being," Johnson said.

But with all the talk stemming from the tragedy, there is one clear message. 

"Students at the college age are at the age where they can change the world some day," Johnson said. "They need to know they have the power and that ability to do that, and that they can do it in a positive direction. "

The university said it's offering coping and grief counseling to students who would like the assistance.


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