The University of New England's Premier Student News Publication

Nor'easter News

The University of New England's Premier Student News Publication

Nor'easter News

The University of New England's Premier Student News Publication

Nor'easter News

UNE Holds Candlelight Vigil to Honor Lewiston Shooting Victims

Students gathered in a small crowd on the Commons Lawn at 4:45 pm tonight, November 1st.

Blue and white ribbons were pinned on everyone’s clothes, and battery-operated candles, given to each participant, solemnly illuminated every bowed head.

“The ribbons represent the Lewiston school colors,” explained Huy Ha, a first-year Medical Biology major.

Photo of ribbon (Emily Hedegard)

The gathering was a student-organized vigil in honor of the 18 victims killed in the Lewiston shooting that took place a week ago tonight, at 8:00 pm on October 25th. 

This event facilitated an opportunity for the University’s community to come together and recognize the effect this heinous killing had on students, faculty, and staff alike. 

Eliza O’Neill, a Sophomore Nutrition major, was one of many students who has been impacted. “My brother-in-law is part of the Androscoggin police department. He was one of the first responders at the bar [Schemengees]. By the time he got there, everything had already happened…,” she said, speaking softly.

Those who were impacted within the community were acknowledged. Then, the names of the 18 victims were read aloud, each followed by a moment of silence.

Tricia C. Asselin, 53. Peyton Brewer-Ross, 40. William Frank Brackett, 48. Thomas Ryan Conrad, 34. Michael R. Deslauriers II, 51. Maxx A. Hathaway, 35. Bryan M. MacFarlane, 41. Keith D. Macneir, 64. Ronald G. Morin, 55. Joshua A. Seal, 36. Arthur Fred Strout, 42. Stephen M. Vozzella, 45. Lucille M. Violette, 73. Robert E. Violette, 76. Joseph Lawrence Walker, 57. Jason Adam Walker, 51. William A. Young, 44. Aaron Young, 14.

President Herbert spoke to the crowd: “Getting through something like this is difficult, but it can be made easier by others. I see that kind of support in our UNE community,” he said. “When I first moved to Maine, I told people how privileged I was to live in the state with the lowest crime rate. I think all of us lost that sense of naïveté this week.”

Addressing the political ramifications of the shooting, President Herbert said, “My generation has failed, miserably, to control gun violence. In the United States, we have more firearms than we do people. One thing that I admire about your generation is that you question things. You’re eager to make a change.”

His speech dipped into silence, and a thick wave of emotion passed through the crowd. No one moved. No one spoke.

The microphone was then opened up to anyone who had something to say. Again, no one moved. No one spoke. A moment of silence followed, one that was too fast yet never-ending. 

With that, the vigil concluded. Students hugged, cried, and mourned. 

Then, shortly after, the lawn was empty again, quiet. Everyone had left, continuing on with their evening, at least those that could.

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