One hundred and twenty-nine people are dead and over 300 injured after the terrorist attack in Paris last Friday 9:30 p.m., according to NBC News. ISIS, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, has claimed responsibility for the attack which took place on several crowded Paris streets and outside of the Stade de France where, the President of France Francois Hollande was watching an international soccer match.
This attack occurred less than a year after the Charlie Hebdo shooting in Paris in January by the Islamic terrorist group al Qaeda, which left 11 dead and 11 injured. The attacks on Friday took place just a few blocks from the Charlie Hebdo headquarters.
On Saturday, Nov. 14, the Wittenberg student organization American International Association (AIA) gathered outside of the Student Center in support of France, tying a French flag to Wally Witt and lighting candles in lament of those who died just the day before in Paris.
“We’re not just a club that has events,” said Siham Shehebo, ‘17, president of AIA, “we’re also here to stand together.”
Students, staff and fellow members of AIA took turns speaking and lighting their tea candles, placing them around Wally Witt. Some students spoke as they placed their candles, while others simply walked over silently.
As she placed the candle on the wall next to Wally, Shehebo continued saying, “This is for Muslims, as well. This is a reminder that this was not a terrorist act that had anything to do with religion.”
Koki Iinuma, ‘17, reflected on the displacement of people in the tragic attack on Paris, stating that the events reminded him of the tsunami and earthquake that took place in Japan in 2011; while the event in Japan was caused by a natural disaster, the results are similarly tragic and displace hundreds of people.
Since the AIA event took place, dozens of Wittenberg students and visitors have approached Wally Witt, looking at the candles, flag and the words of remembrance and unity.