Friends remember Kayla Mueller at NAU vigil

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By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. -- One of the ways everyone got together to heal during Kayla Mueller’s vigil was by putting together a board of prayers for her.

“I really hope that this will just remind us of how wonderful she was,” said college friend Emily Waldron.

Hundreds of people gathered for Mueller's vigil at Northern Arizona University's Campus Ministry Center.

“To know Kayla was to be in the presence of peace,” said friend Leslie Alamer.

Friends took the stage to let everyone know how the Prescott woman touched their lives.

“Kayla has only begun to teach me. There is so much to learn. I only hope I can live into that challenge,” said Emily Schick, a college friend.

Everyone lit candles and comforted each other.

“To be around each other when we’re each going through the same thing, and I think it helps to raise awareness about what she was fighting so hard for,” said Whitney Wallace-Shaham, who grew up with Mueller.

Mueller was a humanitarian fighting for people’s rights, offering comfort at women’s shelters, and protesting genocide in Darfur. But her life was cut short.

While in Syria in August 2013, she was taken hostage. Her death was confirmed just this past week.

There was a moment of silence at the vigil not only for Mueller, but also for other people taken hostage through the years.

“We all feel that violence around us every day, and we need to take time to heal from that,” Alamer said.

The Rev. Kathleen Day from the Campus Ministry Center said she’ll never forget that sparkle in Mueller's eyes, and her drive to help make this world a better place.

Following the candlelight vigil, people gathered around a screen to watch a video produced by one of Mueller's friends.

There will be another event to remember Mueller this Tuesday, Feb. 17 from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Campus Ministry Center. There will be a live jazz concert to benefit the Kayla’s Hands Foundation.