The solemn, respectful, silent gathering for Anthony Nazaire was a testament to the impact he had on members of the campus community.
Those who loved him held each other. Those who had never met him felt compelled to share in his remembrance and even have the courage to speak candidly about how the kind of life he lived inspired them. Not only does this speak volumes about Nazaire, but it shows the profound effect his death has had on every individual in this small community.
To call this a tragedy is an understatement.
The outpouring of support since the news of Nazaire’s death broke has been both heartwarming and heartbreaking. It is always difficult to cope with the loss of a fellow student, and Nazaire’s tragedy is no different. Its impact, and his life will always be remembered in our community.
It is crucial that members of the campus community support each other during this time, and that the college prioritize love, support and comfort in the face of violence and despair.
We must remember not only to support each other, but to respect each other as well. Each person grieves differently — some seek support while others seek solace — and it is important that we remember this as we comfort and grieve with one another.
Nazaire’s sister has created a GoFundMe page to raise money for his funeral. In less than a day, more than a hundred people have contributed a total of over $9,000. The decision to donate is a personal one, but the least every individual can do is keep his family in their thoughts.
And, as difficult as it might be, students or community members with more knowledge about what transpired that night would do a service to Nazaire by speaking to the police, even anonymously. Our community and Nazaire’s family will respect anonymity and be grateful for answers.
There is no perfect or correct way to cope with death. But with the levels of respect and community support that were present at the vigil, this campus can stay resolute and strong in the face of tragedy.