Midwood holds vigil for Pakistan terror victims

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Ray of light: Oscar Melendez holds a candle at a vigil and rally held in Midwood on Dec. 17 in remembrance of the 145 victims — mostly children — who died in a terrorist attack in Pakistan.
Showing support: Hasan Raza holds a sign in remembrance of the victims.
Innocent lives lost: Residents hold up signs honoring the children who died in the attack.
Countless candles: Locals lit candles at the memorial.
Local leaders: Borough president Eric Adams, at left, Comptroller Scott Stringer, and Consulate General of Pakistan Raja Ali Ejaz, at right, speak about the brutal schoolhouse attack.
Together they stand: Residents pray together at the rally.

Locals honored the victims of the horrific terrorist attack in Pakistan with a peace rally and candlelight vigil in Midwood on Dec. 17.

Residents grieved for the 145 victims — mostly children — of a Dec. 16 terrorist attack at a school in Peshawar, Pakistan. The vigil was held at the headquarters of the Council of Pakistan Organization and one of the organizers said the ceremony was an emotional affair packed with community members and elected officials who appreciated the touching tribute.

“We didn’t expect so much of the community to come,” said Oscar Melendez, who lives in Bedford-Stuyvesant and is an intern at the organization. “There were a couple of older women from the Pakistani community who were crying — they thanked us.”

The atrocity was committed a world away, but the attack still hit close to home — especially for Pakistani immigrants. One local said residents with family in Pakistan are on edge, and her whole neighborhood is upset by the vicious attack that took so many innocent lives.

“Everybody, we are very upset, they are crying, they are calling to their country every day,” said Abida Satter, who lives in Brighton Beach and has attended several vigils across the city.

She also called on the Pakistani government to take stronger action against Islamist terrorists to protect its own citizens.

“Pakistan is not acting in terrorism,” she said. “We are victims of terrorism.”

Melendez said he is grateful that the community was able to mourn with brothers and sisters from across the globe.

“It happened so many miles away but we were still able to pay respects to everybody’s loss,” said Melendez.

Reach reporter Vanessa Ogle at or by calling (718) 260–4507. Follow her
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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