Siena students hold vigil for victims of Paris attacks

LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. – As the country still copes with the devastating terror attacks in Paris two weeks ago, a group of local students came together to show their support for the victims.

Siena College students gathered at the campus Grotto Monday evening with candles and prayer to show solidarity with their fellow French students in the Capital Region and Europe.

“We come together as a community in solidarity to be light recognizing that love is stronger than hate, and hope is stronger than despair,” Father Larry Anderson, O.F.M said.

Ryan Kelleher of the Siena Student Senate Board came up with the idea of a candlelight vigil to mourn those who lost their lives in the recent terrorist attacks in France.

“It makes me feel really good knowing that I can show my solidarity and that Siena can show their solidarity with the French students and let them know we are here for them,” he said.

Siena students, faculty and administrators gathered on Monday to recite Pope John Paul II’s Decalogue of Peace. There was also a moment of silence as well as a recitation of the Prayer of Saint Francis.

Sofian Pelhadj is an exchange student from France. He attended the vigil and said he was thrilled to know an American student planned the event.

“I’m feeling confident about the relationship between the U.S. and France, especially in this hard movement, and we do not stand alone on this,” he said.

Father Larry said to never underestimate the power of prayer and the power of people coming together for a good cause. He said the vigil was a small way the community could be mindful of those who are suffering.

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