Local residents remember the victims of New Zealand attack

In a service of remembrance filled with emotional words of pain and grief, it was the moments where there were no words that especially triggered tears Sunday evening.

And that came when a small, quiet bell tolled for the 50 victims of two separate mosque attacks Friday in Christchurch, New Zealand. The scene unfolded at the “One Community, One World” service organized by the Islamic Society of Columbus Indiana and held at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Columbus on Goeller Boulevard.

An overflow crowd of about 250 people, including people seated in the lobby, attended to hear more than a dozen speakers of varied faiths — Muslims, Jews, Christians, Hindus, and Unitarian Universalists — talk about the importance of a small diverse community coming together in solidarity with local Muslims, many of whom were well-known to those in the service.

Wan Baba, a member of the Islamic Society, broke down more than once reading brief biographies of some of those killed while their photo was displayed on a nearby screen. She was openly choked up when she came to 3-year-old Macad Ibrahim, the youngest victim who died in his mother’s arms, according to news accounts.

“This is getting really hard,” Baba said, sniffling and trying to stifle more tears.

For more on Sunday’s remembrance service, see Monday’s Republic.