Peace activist Rachel Corrie remembered on home campus

The Associated Press
3/22/03 11:25 PM

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Mourners said prayer in the Muslim, Jewish and Christian fashion Saturday as they remembered an American student and peace activist who was killed last week in aPalestinian refugee camp.

More than 1,800 family, friends and faculty attended the memorial for Rachel Corrie at The Evergreen State College, from which the 23-year-old senior had been on leave.

Corrie was an international observer and activist for the International Solidarity Movement, a Palestinan-led group that uses nonviolent methods to challenge the Israeli occupation.

She died March 16 when a bulldozer driven by an Israeli soldier ran over her as she protested in front of a Palestinian home he was demolishing. The Israeli Army said it was an accident, but Prime Minister Ariel Sharon told President Bush that Israel will investigate thoroughly.

A long line of speakers spoke of Corrie as an artistic student, social activist and friend who showed that anyone can improve conditions locally and abroad.

“She challenged us with her questions. She delighted us with her words, her art, her humor,” said her mother, Cindy Corrie. “She nurtured us with her tender, empathetic heart.”

At a news conference, Cindy and her husband, Craig, displayed photos they described as 286 children who have died in Israel and the disputed occupied territory in the past two years. They deserve as much notice as Corrie on the morning news, she said.

Evergreen President Les Purce spoke of a world divided, a nation at war and a woman who will be remembered.

“For people all over the world, Rachel’s loss has become a powerful symbol, spiritually, politically and emotionally,” said Purce. “Rachel’s loss, Rachel’s life, were personal to many of us. It was an extraordinary life.”