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Residents unite in one cause



Published: Sat, September 15, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



People of various faiths and occupations asked for cooperation during Friday's ceremonies.

VINDICATOR STAFF REPORTS

YOUNGSTOWN -- Muslims, Christians and Jews gathered Friday afternoon to pray for an end to racial discrimination in the wake of Tuesday's terrorist attacks.

The service, at the Islamic Society of Greater Youngstown on Harmon Avenue, was one of several ceremonies held to discuss the effects of the attacks.

State Sen. Robert Hagan of Youngstown, D-33rd, said at the Islamic Society service that people of various religions need to cooperate to fight hatred.

"Hatred can't exist in our country," he said. "We must fight this battle together."

Hagan added that "as Americans, we're all victims" of the terrorist attacks.

At Liberty High: During an assembly Friday afternoon at Liberty High School, principal John Young said students have repeatedly asked him what they can do to help.

"What a better way than to come together as a family? We are family," Young told the students.

He pointed out that in just 20 minutes Friday morning at the school, 300 red, white and blue ribbons were sold for $1 each, the $300 going to the recovery effort.

"Freedom is precious, and it does come with a price," said Janine Harrison, a high school English teacher.

Terming the student body a tapestry of various groups, she called on them to maintain their sense of humanity.

"The good spirit will overcome the evil," Brian O'Hara, Liberty math teacher, said.

Adults and children gathered Friday afternoon in front of the Jewish Community Center in Youngstown.

Sam Kooperman, executive vice president of the Youngstown Area Jewish Federation, called for solidarity. He urged support of the U.S. government "to assure this doesn't happen again."

Rabbi Joseph Schonberger, spiritual leader of Temple El Emeth, characterized Friday as a "day of pain."

"It's a new experience for people in America," Rabbi Schonberger said.

At the center, people were asked to pray for those who have died and offer sympathy to those who have lost family members.

Downtown: More than 150 people turned out for a prayer service at noon at Federal Plaza East. Residents also had the chance to watch the national day of prayer and remembrance on big-screen televisions in Beeghly Center's Chestnut Room at Youngstown State University.

Dr. David Sweet, YSU president, gave some remarks at that observance.

"Terrorism, as a condoned expression of political activism by rogue nations or by individuals shielded by such countries, cannot be tolerated by the world community," Sweet said.

"If the events of this past week unite the world in combating terrorism, they will not have been in vain."




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