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Vigil in Harrisburg for kidnapped Nigerian girls

People gathered at St. Paul Episcopal Church in Harrisburg Wednesday for a vigil for the kidnapped schoolgirls in Nigeria.

Last month, the group Boko Haram abducted more than 200 girls and has demanded the Nigerian government release members of Boko Haram who’ve been imprisoned.

Arese Ness, who’s originally from Nigeria, had urged members of her church to come together to pray for the safe return of the girls.

“It’s been very painful for me because I went to a boarding school exactly like the ones that the girls were taken from,” said Ness. “I have nightmares of being one of those girls and being taken away at night.”

About two dozen people attended Wednesday’s vigil. Some of them wore red as a sign of solidarity with the girls. Hanging from a swing set was a sign reading “Bring Back Our Girls,” a phrase which has trended around the world on social media.

“You could be a family, have three girls in that school. You have three daughters gone. That’s going to be hard on any family, no matter where you are in the world,” said Ness.

During the vigil, the people who attended read the names of all the girls who’ve been identified as having been kidnapped. Those names will remain on the church’s altar until there’s a resolution to the situation.