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NIU memorial service to be broadcast in Baghdad
By Emily Krone | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 2/24/2008 12:26 AM

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Soldiers serving in Iraq will join the tens of thousands of supporters in this country gathering today to grieve the victims of the Northern Illinois University massacre.

Camp Victory in Baghdad plans to broadcast the campus memorial service in DeKalb.

"One of our alumni said he'd be happy to organize something in Baghdad for people wanting to show support," said Joseph Matty, executive director of the NIU Alumni Association. "We have a good number of our alumni overseas, and they wanted to still be a part of what's going on."

Alumni nationwide have undertaken similar efforts to bring the NIU family together.

Groups will gather today in Chicago, central Illinois, Arizona, California, Georgia, Texas and Virginia to view the memorial service held at the NIU Convocation Center.

Alumni chose a variety of locations for the gatherings, from a church in Arizona to a hotel in California to a mental health center in Texas.

At George Mason University in Arlington, Va., alumni are assembling along with Virginia Tech students and alumni, who lived through their own campus massacre in April.

At a mental health center in San Antonio, Texas, the Virginia Tech alumni association is hosting a viewing and making counselors and therapists available to mourners.

NIU officials also anticipate that more people will choose to return to campus for the memorial than can fit in the 10,000-seat convocation center.

Three viewing sites on campus have been set up to hold the overflow crowd.

In addition, the service will be broadcast live at three NIU satellite campuses: Hoffman Estates, 5555 Trillium Blvd; Naperville, 1120 E. Diehl Road; and Rockford, 8500 E. State St.

Four Chicago-area radio stations and two television stations will broadcast the memorial live.

A live feed of the service also will be available at www.niu.edu.