Contributed by Nicholas Herrera
Oregon State University students have organized a memorial in honor of victims from both the Buffalo, N.Y. supermarket and Uvalde, Texas shootings, encouraging students to “show love and take a stand.”
Nicholas Herrera, a third-year accounting and finance major at OSU, has organized the candlelight vigil to be held at the steps of the Memorial Union in Corvallis, Ore. at 8:30 p.m. on May 29.
“[We are] hoping to have supporters come out and really just show love and kind of take a stand in light of the recent shootings especially but [also] just… with shootings in general across nationwide,” Herrera said.
On May 14, ten people, almost all of whom were Black, were killed in a supermarket mass shooting in Buffalo, New York. Ten days later, on May 24, in Uvalde Texas, an 18-year-old ended the lives of 19 students and two teachers at Robb Elementary school.
Between these past two shootings alone, 31 lives were lost with many more injured. According to Herrera, the memorial plans to show exactly 31 candles and a portrait of each victim to honor their lives in remembrance.
In addition to bringing flowers and balloons to honor the victims, the event will include a flute performance, poem, closing prayer, and an open mic where Herrera himself plans to speak.
Herrera coordinated the event with the support of Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity and other Divine Nine organizations on campus. He also encourages all members of the community to come out and support, not just students on campus.
“If you want to come out, show love to the recent victims or any past victims,” Herrera said. “Me, myself, I do not have any direct connections to any of the shootings but it is just terrible to see and I can’t just sit by and watch.”