Hundreds Take Part in Annual Interfaith Peace Walk

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More than 100 Ohio University students and Athens residents gathered to participate in the seventh annual Better Together 9/11 Interfaith Peace Walk on Monday evening.

Organized by OU’s Better Together campaign and in partnership with United Campus Ministry, the event not only aimed to honor the lives lost during the 9/11 terror attacks, but to allow people of different religions and cultural backgrounds to create and strengthen an understanding and expectancy of one another.

“We need to celebrate what makes us diverse,” President Duane Nellis said prior to the commencement of the walk. “We’re a better community by the inclusivity that comes from the spectrum of all the people who are part of this community.”

The walk began at the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd where Reverend Evan Young of the United Campus Ministry lead the participants through the streets of Athens, passing by several religious establishments around town. As the participants made their way through College Green, bag pipes were played in honor of those who had died during the 9/11 attacks. Mi Shebeirach, a Jewish prayer for healing was then recited once the crowd made its way to the OU branch of Hillel.

“May the source of strength who blessed the ones before us, help us find the courage to make our lives a blessing. And let us say: Amen,” translated Reizes, a junior studying global studies war and peace after reciting the prayer in Hebrew.

Just before dark the crowd made it’s way to the Islamic Center of Athens. A traditional Islamic prayer was recited followed by Rev. Young leading the crowd in the song “This Little Light of Mine” as the participants began to help one another light candles.

“I’ll tell you what I see,” Young said. “I see community … I see white people and brown people and black people, men and women and every gender imaginable. And I see you all together.”