Interfaith Peace Walk Inspires Athens Students, Residents

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The Interfaith Peace Walk brought together more than 150 Athens residents and Ohio University students to memorialize the September 11th terrorist attacks and to pursue peace among different groups.

The event, in its fourth year, was organized by the Better Together campaign at United Campus Ministries.

Reverend Evan Young, the campus minister at United Campus Ministries, said that recent events at Ohio University make events like these necessary.

"There's a lot of emotion swirling around; a lot of passion swirling around," the Rev. Young said. "This is an opportunity to connect together with a value we all share: a desire, a yearning, for peace."

Students from a variety of backgrounds gathered to start the event at the Church of the Good Shepard on University Terrace.

"I support peace and see too much killing," said Saudi Arabian muslim student Salem Hassan. "I am here because there is too much violence and hate in the world."

The walk took a route through uptown Athens, with one stop at Ohio University Hillel, where four students recited a Jewish prayer for the crowd. 

Hillel's Claire Seid read a statement before offering prayer for those killed by religious violence. 

"We remember those who died on that terrible day. We send this prayer for them," Seid said. We send this prayer for the thousands of innocent people in Gaza and in Israel this summer."

The event ended at the Athens Islamic Center with comments from campus Islamic leaders.

The Rev. Young lead the group in song as candles were lit and shared among the crowd. 

"Go forth couragously, insistently, without ceasing, in the world that needs it so much," Rev. Young said. "Bless you all, thanks for being here, have a great night."