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Interfaith Peace Walk brings different cultures together to remember 9/11

People of different backgrounds came together Sunday night to remember the tragedy that happened fifteen years ago on Sept. 11, 2001.

On Sunday night, United Campus Ministry at Ohio University hosted the sixth-annual Better Together 9/11 Interfaith Peace Walk. About 100 people gathered to honor the lives that were lost in the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

“The walk was started because people were frustrated with the politicalization of 9/11 to drive a wedge between people” Evan Young, campus minister at United Campus Ministry, said.

The route started at Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd, 64 University Terrace, and participants made their way through Athens while passing several other religious establishments, and ended at the Islamic Center of Athens, 13 Stewart St.

“I came to support everyone who lost someone” Jessica Robinson, a senior studying pre-law, said.

At the beginning of the walk, Young gave a speech about how “we need to show that we have learned something in the past fifteen years”.

During the walk, people held hands, made peace symbols with their hands and held up signs that read things like “Love trumps hate” and “War is terrorism with a bigger budget.”

“I feel like I should be a part of the peace” said Nur Dedeoglu, a second-year master’s student studying school counseling.

Many people on Court Street stopped what they were doing to watch the Interfaith Peace Walk participants walk down the middle of the street with a police escort.

“I thought it was awesome that all of these cultures could come together” Anthony Eliopoulos, a junior studying political science pre-law, said.

Students on Mill Street. also came out and sat on their porches, and some took pictures and videos of the walk that went down the side of the street.

The walk ended at the Islamic Center of Athens and Abdulwahab Alsulami, the president of the Islamic Center, greeted everyone by saying “As-Salaam-Alaikum”, a traditional Arabic greeting which means “Peace be unto you.”

Alsulami, a doctoral student in communication studies, continued with a speech about how everyone is “unique, loving and beautiful.”

A moment of silence was held for all of the victims of 9/11 after a candlelight vigil.

Young finished off the walk by starting a sing-along to the songs “This Little Light of Mine” and “There is More Love Somewhere.”

The walk ended with The Islamic Center of Athens offering food and drinks to those who participated in the Interfaith Peace Walk.

“This is important because it brings different people together,” Robinson said.


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