By Dillon Thomas

DENVER (CBS4)– Dozens will gather at the state Capitol building Friday evening, to honor the lives of those lost in recent attacks in Syria.

Rally organizers said the gathering is non-political and designed to honor the innocent who lost their lives in warfare.

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Bombing in Syria (credit: CBS)

“This is a pretty emotional situation for a lot of people. There is a lot of devastation happening there,” said Amal Kassir, a Syrian-American living in Colorado.

“If we don’t depoliticize death, then it is nothing but a vocabulary word we try to avoid,” Kassir said.

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CBS4’s Dillon Thomas interviews Amal Kassir, a Syrian-American living in Colorado. (credit: CBS)

Kassir, a poet, said she had deep ties to loss in Syria.

“My family was struck with an air strike last week,” Kassir said. “It was on the same day the chemical attack.”

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Syria (credit: CBS)

Kassir lost her cousins, aunt, and other family members in the strike. In total, 11 of Kassir’s family members were killed at once.

Kassir said the airstrike was a chilling reminder of the reality of a war, with at least five different factions fighting each other.

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Amal Kassir, a Syrian-American living in Colorado. (credit: CBS)

“After six years [of fighting], no one really gets to think they are exempt from the bombs hitting home,” Kassir said.

With not only her family suffering, but the country of Syria, Kassir said she hoped to use her words to bring a human element to the bloodshed.

Kassir said the constant looping of war video on nightly newscasts has taken away the emotions of death.

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Syria (credit: CBS)

“People get so incredibly dehumanized,” Kassir said.

By combining her passion for using words, with the story of her family, Kassir hoped to raise awareness of the atrocities taking place overseas.

“It is not just half a million people dead. It is not just [nearly five] million refugees, or nine million internally displaced people. This is human beings,” Kassir said.

The vigil is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. and continue until 8:30 p.m. Friday at the state Capitol.

Dillon Thomas is a reporter at CBS4 and a Colorado native. He believes everyone has a story, and would love to share yours! You can find more of his stories by following him on Twitter, @DillonMThomas.

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