Additional reporting and video by: Isaiah Showell
VINELAND, N.J. — A group of students from Cumberland County Technical Education Center (CCTEC) held a vigil for the victims of the Halle and Landsberg anti-semitic attacks that occurred last week during Yom Kippur.
The group held the vigil in front of the American flag outside of CCTEC on Tuesday, October 15. The students held a moment of silence and a read from a speech by Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel from 1999, which reminds people to pay attention to injustice even when it’s not in America.
Nicholas Blauth, a senior from CCTEC, says that it is important for people to speak up when injustices are happening all around the world.
“It’s really important when no one else is saying anything,” Blauth said. “It lies on our generation to speak up. And when there’s such injustice is happening in the world as this deadly shooting on Yom Kippur. It’s important that we all take the time to come out and say something about it, because that’s the only way change can happen.”
The attack in Halle and Landsberg occurred on Yom Kippur, the holiest day in Judaism. According to the New York Times, a heavily armed gunman tried to enter a synagogue but failed to get inside. The gunman then fired at a woman on the street, shooting her several times.
Soon after he drove to a kebab shop and started firing into the shop, two men in the shop took cover behind a beverage machine. He then shot at a pedestrian, then “drove his car closer to the kebab shop, shot at some other pedestrians, re-entered and shot the body of one victim several times. He returned to his car, shot over the roof, and drove off.”
The gunman was later apprehended by German law enforcement.
The day after the attack, Blauth and other students felt like they needed to do something to honor those who were lost in the attack.
“It was so important that as soon as we heard about it, us as a group of students, got together and immediately went to [the] administration as soon as we walked into school that day,” Blauth said.
Blauth wants people to know that anyone can stand up against any kind of injustice and make a change.
“The biggest thing that everyone takes home is just to be that light of awareness,” Blauth said. “As we keep going on that, any bit of injustice no matter how big or how small it is, you can be the change. You just need to say up something and speak up.”