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Paying homage to 9/11 victims, praying for peace

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With the U.S. poised to take military action in Syria, the idea of another foreign intervention loomed in the background of the 12th anniversary of the attacks on the Twin Towers on Wednesday.

“While unitarian universalists affirm and promise ‘peace, liberty and justice for all,’ most of us live in a nation whose leaders are right now finding it hard to resist military involvement in Syria,” Evan Young, Campus Minister at United Campus Ministries (UCM), said in his remarks before the third annual 9/11 Interfaith Peace Walk Wednesday evening.

The walk was organized by UCM, a non profit that focuses on social justice issues, in conjunction with various faith-based groups.

He added that most Americans oppose military intervention in Syria, war-weary from the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts that ensued after the Sept. 11 attacks.

Regarding that day “everything changed,” Young said. “Only it didn’t, not really. It was only one more act in a series of acts of violence.”

The refrain of the walk–both literally and figuratively–was peace, with participants singing “There is more peace somewhere” in front of the Islamic Center, at 13 Stewart St, where the walk ended.

“[The walk is] an opportunity to take [the event of 9/11] and celebrate the diversity we have on our campus as a source of strength,” said Melissa Wales, Director of UCM, who  stressed the importance of “building bridges” with people of different faiths and backgrounds.

Elsewhere on campus, the Ohio University College Republicans aimed to divorce politics from remembrance. They staked 3,000 tiny American flags in front of Templeton-Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium on Tuesday and Wednesday in memory of the nearly 3,000 who lost their lives in the Sept. 11 attacks. Among those 3,000 were some foreigners.

“This is not a political event,” said Dylan Gustafson, communications chair of the organization, who said he refused to comment on the potential intervention in Syria. “The people who are coming into [their first year at OU] may not even remember [9/11]. My hope is that this gets people to pause and to reflect.”

The College Republicans have put on the display since 2002.

Gustafson answered that they did not invite the Ohio University College Democrats to help put on the display, but that they have helped in the past.

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