UVA community comes together to mourn
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - University of Virginia students came together to grieve the loss of three of their fellow students on UVA Grounds.
The Lawn was lit up on Monday, November 14, with thousands mourning the loss of three UVA football players.
“It’s a terrible tragedy in itself. You know, you read about things like this in the news, and then it hits close to home and you just can’t quite believe it,” Pastor Walter Wagner with St. Thomas Aquinas University Parish said.
Father Wagner is just one of those holding space for the community to come together and grieve.
“I think it’s trying to come to grips with this big social problem that is also right in the neighborhood and affecting the kinds of people I see every day, and just trying to wrap my mind around that I find to be difficult,” Father Wagner said.
Hundreds of students came together at St. Thomas Aquinas University Parish and across Grounds.
“I’m not personally that religious but still, just to know that there are people out there who are willing to help us through these trying times,” UVA Student Syrell Grier said.
Others gathered at Saint Paul’s Memorial Church.
“Our first impulse as a clergy staff was to open the building so that young people and the entire community had a place that they could come,” Episcopal Chaplain to UVA, St. Paul’s Memorial Church Mark Wastler said.
“In the midst of people who are running around most of the time going to classes and athletic events and doing their thing on grounds, you realize in a moment like this, how much love there is right beneath the surface, and it comes out,” Father Wagner said.
UVA President Jim Ryan says the university will be working with student leaders to plan a community vigil.
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