4/16/07: “We Are Virginia Tech”

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    Today, Virginia Tech students remember their classmates killed on 4/16/07.

    The ceremony has been held annually since the shooting, but it has taken on extra significance this year because of the looming graduation of many of the students who were freshmen at the time of the massacre — a dwindling group that calls itself “the 4/16 generation.”

    The thousands who are saying goodbye are preparing for the days ahead with feelings of nostalgia, camaraderie and survivor’s guilt. Many are wondering what it will mean for Virginia Tech after they are gone, when most of the witnesses leave Blacksburg and become alumni.

    We will remember. We will never forget that horrible day.

    UPDATE: On his Facebook page, Omar Samaha has a message for his sister Reema, who was killed 3 years ago in the Virginia Tech shootings.

    I love you Reema and I miss you. This is your graduation year and I can only imagine everything you would have been and accomplished.In your life and your death you continue to inspire us with your grace, wisdom, and love for all. I love you with all my heart and I know you are always with us. We will all be together again one day and what a beautiful day that will be.

    • jack

      I had Ms. Giovanni as a professor her first year and Tech, back in the days when she smoked like a chimney!  She even let us smoke in class, although no-one took her up on it except me.  I sat by the window and smoked my pipe, while she smoked cigarette after cigarette.  Wonderful woman.

    • KathyinBlacksburg

      As one who had a family member on campus (not far from Norris) at the time and a good friend trapped in Norris Hall, it is still hard to face this day each year.

      And so I cannot imagine how the families who lost loved one’s feel.  You never really get over the loss of a loved one.  But the trauma of that day carries so much more weight, I think.  

      My friend was safe, though we didn’t know that until 9 PM that night.  The husband of one of my exercise buddies was safe too.  But others waited till midnight or later, in some cases only to learn their loved one had perished.  In one apartment building I heard that all the tenants were up, talking outside–and waiting.  And then the bad news came.  There were stories like that all over town.

      Every time the VT alert system goes off, its a spine-chiller.  Is it just a test?  OR is it the real thing (again).  Even now, it is difficult to write about this.

    • jack

      Any chance I can get to plug Nikki, I will.  Go read some of her poetry: http://www.math.buffalo.edu/~s

      (“Seduction” is hilarious.)

      Go buy her books.  She is fantastic.