Ohio University Photos

Candlelight Vigil honors Philippines and Somalia

Words and Photographs by Gracie Umana, CGM Multimedia Editor

Last night, November 14th, 2013, members of the Athens community came together at The Oasis (top of Morton Hill at Ohio University) to sing about , pray for and remember the thousands of killed and displaced people in the Philippines and Somalia due to recent natural disasters. The vigil was full of beautiful people and beautiful November weather. Though the gathering was smaller in size, the amount of hope and love that filled the space was something much larger than the group itself.

Members of the Ohio University community gathered together to commemorate the thousands lost and displaced in the Philippines and Somalia.
Members of the Ohio University community gathered together to commemorate the thousands lost and displaced in the Philippines and Somalia.

In the Philippines alone, at least 600,000 people, those fortunate enough to survive the typhoon, have been displaced and are waiting on government aid for basic resources. With such amazingly horrific natural disasters happening around the world with a force we have not seen before, we must take the time to really look at what the root cause is. And the only answers I can come up with are the fact that as a global population, we have forgotten that our one true job on this planet is to protect the very resources that bring us life and happiness.

There is absolutely no way that we can just look past all these recent ‘disasters’ and not feel some guilt. Over the past hundred years or so, we have gotten so caught up in the idea of ‘how can we make this faster, lighter, easier.’ We neglect the time to truly evaluate what the consequences of our actions will be a week from now, even hundreds of years from now.

Looking at typhoon that demolished the Philippines and the cyclone destroying parts of Somalia this past weekend, I cannot seem to shake these ideas from my mind. Disasters of this magnitude often bring a sense of unity and hope to the world, if only for a brief time. So I say that while we are mourning and remembering and feeling for those lost this past weekend, we must also choose to live in a way that will better the Earth so that these horrible tragedies will not continue with such overbearing force. After all, we’ve only got this one big, blue, beautiful planet to live on.

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Editor’s Note: If you’d like to read an amazing article relating natural disasters to the evidence of climate change and our use of fossil fuels, check out ‘In the Wake of Haiyan, We Must Divest from Fossil Fuels.’

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Gracie Umana is the Multimedia Editor for College Green Magazine. She loves warm puppies and great local food. One day she hopes to live in a progressive community supported by local agriculture… 

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