LTU hosts memorial for natural disasters, Las Vegas concert shooting

By: Kayla Dimick | Southfield Sun | Published October 11, 2017

SOUTHFIELD — It’s been a tough few weeks as a citizen of the world.

Following multiple hurricanes, an earthquake and a mass shooting, Lawrence Technological University officials figured students and residents needed a respite.

Students, residents and community members gathered at the Peace Post in front of the flagpole at the entrance to the quadrangle on LTU’s campus at noon Oct. 5 for a memorial for those affected by recent tragic events.

During a country music festival Oct. 1 in Las Vegas, gunman Stephen Paddock opened fire on a crowd from a high-rise hotel overlooking the Las Vegas Strip. Paddock killed 58 people and injured hundreds more before taking his own life.

The event was also held for those affected by Hurricane Harvey, a Category 3 hurricane that wrecked havoc on Texas and Louisiana in late August, as well as Hurricane Irma, a Category 5 hurricane that made landfall in Florida in mid-September.

The memorial also recognized a 7.1 magnitude earthquake in Mexico City in mid-September, and Hurricane Maria, a Category 5 hurricane that rocked Puerto Rico in late September.

Dean of Students Kevin Finn hosted the event.

“Our president really wanted to get our community together. I think it’s important, for especially students and faculty, to remember that this is bigger than their classroom,” Finn said. “This is for the students to remember that we still care. These young men and women are trying to figure out what to do with their futures, and they are going to make solutions, so we want to remind them to always be hopeful and never give up.”

Before the program started, attendees were given a white ribbon pin to symbolize peace.

LTU President Virinder Moudgil said that an LTU student had a family member killed in the Las Vegas shooting, and that the university has several students from Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and Mexico.

Moudgil asked attendees to join hands in remembrance for those who lost their lives in recent events.

“We salute those men and women who risked their lives to save others. We send our sincerest good wishes and prayers to all those who are impacted, with the hope we stand together and we mourn the departed,” Moudgil said.

Ana Magana, a senior from Mexico City studying engineering, read the poem “Hope Is the Thing with Feathers,” by Emily Dickinson. Paul Jaussen, assistant professor of humanities, social sciences and communication, performed a recitation of W.S. Erwin’s poem “Thanks.”

Attendees were invited to close out the program by singing “America the Beautiful.”