Senior Forrest Ahrens carries one side of a banner reading "#TogetherWeRise," leading the group of seniors at the front of the unity walk.

A walk for unity

“This sea of red warms my heart,” Minnehaha Academy President Dr. Donna Harris said as she stood atop a fire truck, surrounded by students, staff, and other community members.

On Tuesday August 15, 2017, more than 1,000 members of the Minnehaha community gathered at the Minnehaha Academy Upper School, the site of the explosion that took the lives of Ruth Berg and John Carlson on August 2. Though the gathering was a time to remember and grieve, it’s ultimate purpose was to bring the community together and promote the slogan of the night: “Together we rise.” As Harris put it, the night was a time for “celebration and reinforcement of the bonds we have.”

Participants gathered for prayer and reflection before taking part in a unity walk, traversing a little over a mile along Edmund Blvd. to Minnehaha’s South Campus where the crowd all moved through a single arch of balloons painted in the school’s colors. The purpose of all entering through the same archway was to declare that “we are in this together,” Harris said.

After the walk, the assembly was invited to enjoy music performed by students and alumni, time spent in fellowship, and food trucks parked on East 42nd St. The event provided space for the community to spend time together, and Harris recognized the encouragement that came from simple time in fellowship.

“Our spirits are bolstered by your presence here with us today,” she said at the start of the event, looking out over the crowd. 

As the community moves forward after the tragic events on August 2, individuals rely on each other and on God for strength, encouragement, and peace. #TogetherWeRise


About Emma Melling

Emma is a senior staff writer and editor-in-chief of the Talon. She is passionate about journalism, writing, literature, and French. Emma plans to attend Bethel University in the fall and double major in English and Journalism. She enjoys writing features on arts and human interest topics and loves listening to people's stories. Her hobbies include reading, hiking and spending time with family.

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