"What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us."
Ralph Waldo Emerson's words set the tone for a prayer vigil held in the Wilkeson Coffee House Tuesday night to offer UB students support and allow them to vent feelings of anger and disbelief about yesterday's bombings of the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.
The vigil was organized by three U.B. students, Jennifer Herrera, Eric Diaz, and Jessica Castillo, and attended by nearly one hundred others.
President Bush's national address marked the beginning of the meeting as students watched in silence while Bush vowed to seek revenge for the bloodbath.
Castillo pleaded for students to give blood at the American Red Cross tomorrow and said there was a four-hour delay at the Red Cross Tuesday due to the overwhelming number of people trying to donate.
As students filled the chairs and floor space of the coffee house, they joined hands and offered a moment of silence for those affected by the day's events.
Students then had the opportunity to express their feelings about the terrorist activity, during which an unmistakable sense of pride and unity emerged.
"I just don't understand what we did to make people so angry at us to make people want to take so many lives and to take their own lives" said freshman dance major Lara Brokaw.
The possibility of Tuesday's bombings being linked to the anniversary of the Camp David Accords and the United States' supportive stance of foreign policy with Israel was also discussed.
"This country is born from adversity and a different way of life," said sophomore engineering major Frank Guerrina. "But in adversity we find out greatest strength and as in the past I believe we will overcome whatever challenge is put before us."
Students also expressed concern over the possibility of Congress re-issuing the draft should the United States go to war.
"Life shouldn't stop. People do live in other countries with this threat and this fear every day of their lives," said senior Gery Comas, a sociology and legal studies major.
The vigil ended optimistically as students discussed the things they were thankful for on a day such as today.
"Sometimes it takes a tragedy to put our lives into perspective," said freshman business major Richard Acosta.
RHA will also hold a candlelight vigil for students Thursday at 8 p.m. in the Ellicott Bowl. Campus ministers, counselors and administrators will be in attendance.