The night was illuminated by the soft glow of flickering candles in remembrance of the fallen soldiers of the Fort Hood shooting.
At 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 7, approximately 60 fellow believers gathered around the clock tower on the Sam Houston campus to pray for those who were lost and wounded in the shooting, and to give strength to the students and families who have loved ones stationed at Fort Hood and in the military.
The Alpha Nu Omega Christian Fraternity and Sorority hosted this Candlelight Vigil in response to the shooting to give prayers to those in need and give solace to the students of Sam Houston.
“Our job here on campus is to fill the spiritual needs of students and to be the light that we are supposed to be, that we are called to be, by God,” Romeal-Dorasay Johnson, vice president of Alpha Nu Omega said. “We knew that so many people were hurt by this event- people in our classes were hurt, our brothers and sisters were hurt, our professors were hurt, and so many others. So knowing that the rest of the campus needed something for closure, we had to [organize this vigil] and we did it quickly.”
With the help of Student Government and Student Activities, the event was coordinated and took place the night of the shooting. “We mobilized right away and because of Student Government, we had the manpower to get the candles ready, which were donated by Student Activities. We got a lot of stuff done in a quick amount of time,” Johnson said.
During times of hardship, it is not uncommon for people to shy away from religion and question their faith, but attendees showed through their praise and worship that they were putting it all in God’s hands.
“I wasn’t worried when I heard about the shooting,” Catherine Tilley, a junior at SHSU, said. “I can say that because I knew that God would take care of everything, and I have total trust and peace with what he is doing and what he is going to do.
“Upon hearing that one of her sorority sister’s father was stationed at Fort Hood, Tilley said that her heart sank. “But even feeling that in my heart, I still had constant prayer and trust in God that he would make everything okay.”
This event was an eye-opener to some who believed that Texas was untouchable and that nothing to this extent would happen here. “We are the only chapter of our national organization and we always go to our conferences and brag on Texas, and say how Texas is just invincible,” Johnson said. “For something like this to happen we have to call on God, and to be attacked by someone at home, from home, shows that we have much work to do on the inside.”
Alpha Nu Omega plans to host more events in the future pertaining to the events at Fort Hood.
“We plan to host an awareness of what’s going on in the armed services, whether it is overseas or at home, to see what they are doing in response to the attack,” Johnson said. “Also some of our fraternity and sorority members on the national level are members of the armed forces, and they will be coming down to host workshops during the end of this semester or the beginning of next.”
It was said by Helen Keller that the world is full of suffering, and it is also full of overcoming it. Through the pain and suffering that filled the day of Nov. 7, the night was aglow with the hope and love sent out by the students of Sam Houston to all of those in anguish and despair, and to give them strength to overcome this tragedy.