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Cross confusion: Explaining the ‘Graveyard of Innocents’ on the Great Lawn

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A few weeks ago, students may have noticed white crosses lined up on the Great Lawn in the mock formation of a graveyard.

The “Graveyard of Innocents” was set up as part of Campus Ministry’s second annual “Culture of Life Week” which was intended to advocate and educate students on life issues.

Students involved raised awareness on issues including but not limited to abortion, suicide, homelessness, hunger, the death penalty and child abuse.

However, due to bad weather and scheduling, many students were left in a state of confusion as to what the crosses actually meant.

“I saw them and assumed they were to create awareness for veterans and others who died,” said senior Wilfred Curioso. “It would be clearer if there were a huge sign in front of it.”

Loramarie Muratore of Campus Ministry explained that after a week of constantly hammering
the crosses and signs back, they had to eventually resort to completely removing them because of the wind and snow.

Each cross represented 100 of the following deaths: deaths of soldiers during the War on Terrorism,
deaths due to abortion, deaths due to not having clean water, and deaths due to suicide.

The Graveyard of Innocents is a national event that is done by chapters of Students for Life each year. The chapter at St. John’s University has been hosting the event for the past several years, and included it as part of Culture of Life Week this year.

The group posted flyers and statistics around campus and via social media to educate the
school on the various issues they represented.

The week also included other programs and events focused on advocating for these issues.

However, not everyone was in agreement with the message the crosses sent.

“It is suggesting that this is a graveyard for dead babies, and that women who choose to abort are murderers and I really disagree
with that message,” said sophomore Stephanie Cruz.

In response Campus Minister Muratore said “Each sign we post has ‘#studentsforlife #studentsforlove,’ so if nothing else we want our message to include what Christ asked us each to do—to love one another.

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