ST. LOUIS, MO – With outcries from injured and displaced in Aleppo on social media, Lara Jennings, of St. Louis, took action to organize a vigil for the Syrian people outside of city hall.
“The last messages that have been coming out of [Aleppo] these past weeks have been what had me organize the event today,” Jennings said.
The Syrian civil war began in March 2011 and has had over 250,000 lives lost, according to BBC News.
“I’ve been following the conflict since the beginnings in 2011, but over the last week I’ve seen the final messages and outcries of people asking to not be forgotten. That’s what compelled me to create today’s vigil,” Jennings said.
After researching to see if other similar efforts had been planned, Jennings took action.
“We can’t solve war and then I asked myself: ‘What about a vigil,’” Jennings said.
Emam Saffaf, of St. Louis, has family in Syria but luckily they have not been injured in the attacks.
“Honestly, [being at the vigil] is the only thing I really can do right now. I still have family in Syria and thankfully they’re all safe, but really at this point I feel like to do anything is good,” Saffaf said.
The Syrian civil war has been a numbing experience, according to Saffaf and her family.
“The war has been going on since 2011, for me and my family; we’re just numb to it. You have to tune it out,” Saffaf said.
“We call our family over there regularly to make sure that they are okay. I don’t know how to feel anymore. It’s just numb. We used to cry and now it has turned into just prayers,” she said
The vigil brought forth dozens of individuals from St. Louis and surrounding communities to stand in solidarity with those displaced in Syria.
“I hope that other cities that see what we did tonight follow suit to St. Louis,” Jennings said.