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Online effort rallies behind Cambridge Rindge and Latin after bombing suspect's capture

Posted by Leslie Anderson  April 22, 2013 12:28 PM

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A group of Cambridge Rindge and Latin School students and alumni are trying to organize a rally in support of a community devastated by news that the Boston Marathon bombing suspects had attended their high school.

"The purpose of this gathering is to bring the CRLS community, past and present, together to reflect on the tragedies of last week and to celebrate the three words that forever bind us: Opportunity, Diversity, Respect," says a Facebook page established by the group, #CRLSstrong Community Gathering.

"We are more than last week and the country and world deserve to know that our city's diversity and our school's unity are unmatched," the page says.

Details will be announced later on the time, date and location of the event. Interested parties can also follow details using the Twitter trend #CRLSstrong.

Samuel Gebru, 21, a 2009 graduate, said he and friends are organizing the event to help the school's students, alumni, and local residents come to terms with the bombings, which were allegedly carried out by Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who graduated from the school in 2011, and his brother Tamerlan.

"I think the overwhelming feeling is just of confusion," said Gebru. "We are surprised. We are hurt."

Tamerlan died Friday morning after a shootout with police in Watertown. Dzhokhar, 19, was hospitalized after his capture.

Gebru said that although he did not know Dzhokhar personally, others have said that he was a smart boy who was active in the community.

"Everyone that knew him closely will tell you he was a good person. There was no indication of this at all," Gebru said.

"People have said there is nothing awkward about him. He was not one of 'them,' he was very much one of 'us.' He was very much about what the US is. It just doesn’t make sense. It's very confusing."

Gebru said he and other organizers are reaching out to various religious, political, and civic leaders to attend the gathering, and he hopes at least 100 people would be attracted to the event.

"We want to make a statement of showing solidarity," Gebru said. "You won't ever find any place else like Cambridge: it is open to anyone and everyone, so you can imagine how saddened and betrayed people feel for something like this to have happened. It's times like these when people want to reflect."

Jaclyn Reiss can be reached at jaclyn.reiss@gmail.com.

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