Winthrop Supports Paris in Candlelight Vigil

Staff and students at Winthrop University gathered on the steps of Byrnes Auditorium Tuesday night in support of the Paris attack victims. 

Dozens attended the gathering for a candlelight vigil organized by Dr. Scott Shinabarger, chair of the Department of World Languages and Cultures. 

French student Thibaut Taquet, who grew up in Southern France, joined his peers for the vigil. He said everyone from France knows someone living or working in Paris.

"I guess all French people have family or friends in Paris because that's the center of cultural life, governmental life," said Taquet. 

Paris is also a huge tourist destination; thousands are attracted to the city each year. Alice Burmeister, associate professor of Art history, is one of them. 

"This was a couple of years ago," said Burmeister. "Myself and a fellow faculty member, Dr. Karen Stock, were accompanying a group of eight students." 

Which is just one reason Burmeister felt compelled to join the others in remembering the lives lost, some of whom were also students. 

"When this tragedy happened, I was struck by many things," Burmeister said. "But one of the things that struck me was there was a student who was studying abroad. She was a young woman, a design major. That really touched me because I was thinking what if that would if been one of our students." 

Winthrop is known for its study abroad programs. The university provides a number of opportunities to students, like Taquet, around the world. For him the attacks now stand as a reminder that while evil does exist, it will never prevail. 

'We have to aware of the potential threat but at the same time not be afraid," said Taquet. "We're going to keep living our life for sure."