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Tsunami Remembrance

With 11 strikes on the Kusuma Sari, an Indonesian gong, those that had gathered in memory and prayer became silent in adherence of the 11 countries directly affected by the tsunami.

It was these low humming vibrations that began yesterday’s tsunami observance.

It was story told through the eyes of people from the University who went home to India to meet the unexpected.

When they visited their families during the Christmas intercession, their vacation experience held what the world today had never experienced before.

Ravindra Kolhe, a doctoral student at the University, was one of those people. During breakfast with his parents on Dec. 28, Kolhe felt the apartment shaking and saw the aftermath of the world’s largest killer and natural disaster.

Kolhe talked of his cousin who lived in Sri Lanka, an island surrounded by the Indian Ocean, and still made it through the tragedy.

“There are more dead around us than living,” said Kolhe as he reflected on his cousin’s experience.

USG, GSS, the World Student Association, Office of Campus Involvement, Center for International programs and the College of Musical Arts sponsored the event for the hundreds of thousands who lost their lives, their homes, their children and their parents.

Those in attendance shared in the prayers of Buddhist, Islamic, Hindu, and Christian reflections.

“We represent all students … who share the grief of the victims, as well as our friends and colleagues who are personally affected by this great tragedy,” Alex Wright, president of USG said in his opening remarks.

It is in their hopes, Wright said, that the people affected will follow a spirit of new hopes.

The University Collegiate Chorale performed “Motherless Child,” by Adolphus Hailstork, “Fürchte dich nicht” (Fear Not) by Joann Sebastian Bach, and “Set Me As a Seal” by René Clausen.

The choir sang with intentional focus on the children and adults who lost family members during the disaster.

It was the beautiful harmony and touching words that many people said sent chills up their spines and brought tears to their eyes.

“The magnitude of the disaster is still very hard to comprehend,” said Dr. William Balzer, associate vice president and dean of Continuing and Extended Education.

“More than 10 times the number of students at Bowling Green died.”

Leaders of the Midwest Buddhist Meditation Center, the Islamic Center of Greater Toledo, the Hindu Temple of Toledo, and the St. Thomas More University Parish gave spiritual reflections on the tragedy.

“Though we are half a world away, we are united in one body with our brothers and sisters throughout those ravaged regions” said Sr. Mary Kuhlman. “We stand with them, offering our presence, our financial help and our prayers as they rebuild their ruined lives.”

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