By Kyle Peveto, Arts Editor
The spring semester had just begun. Sing Song preparation was underway and students were preparing for Wednesday night worship services.
Twelve years ago, when the United States began an air attack on Iraq, campus life was very much the same.
Photographs from the Jan. 17, 1991, special edition of the Optimist, also released on a Thursday, featured a group of Young Republicans at a war support rally after a peace walk in downtown Abilene.
Students gathered in the Chapel on the Hill for continuous prayer and messages from faculty.
Wednesday’s faculty prayer circle paralleled the ongoing prayer that occurred in 1991.
Though students have been occupied with the war, less action has been taken in Abilene.
“It was not as big of a deal here,” said Dr. Neal Coates, assistant professor of political science. “Abilene is not Houston or Dallas, Abilene is a pretty conservative town.”
Coates said the war has been a topic of great importance in his political science courses, especially his Politics of the Middle East class.
“It is of great importance now, since it is upon us,” Coates said.
The war has not weighed heavily on students’ minds because it has not directly affected them, he added.
Differences between the current war with Iraq and the war in 1991 are few, but large.
“The threat was more immediate in ’91,” he said. “A lot more countries sent soldiers then.”
War with Iraq has been looming since the war on terror began after the Sept. 11 attacks.
“It’s like people are saying, ‘finally, let’s just get this over with,'” Coates said.