April 16th, 2007

It’s hard to believe it’s been 4 years. The vast majority of people who now go to Virginia Tech weren’t here 4 years ago. That day has very nearly left the collective memory of the student body.

I remember getting to class in TORG 2150 that morning a few minutes early, and wondering why my professor didn’t ever show up. Someone in the class looked on the Internet at the news. We all sat there, repeatedly refreshing all the major news sites in an attempt to figure out what was going on a few hundred yards away. By this point, we had been told we couldn’t go anywhere.

I remember not being able to call home to tell my family I was okay because too many others were calling at the same time.

I remember finally being able to leave the classroom after a few hours. We hurried back to our dorms and began checking in with friends and family to make sure those we knew were okay. All too many of them weren’t.

I remember going to the candlelight vigil — one of the, if not the, most moving experiences I have ever taken part in. Thousands of people, all standing together, doing nothing but holding their candles with Coke cups from the dining halls as makeshift wax-catchers. None of us could imagine what had just happened, but none of us could imagine being in a better community either.

I remember the spontaneous “Let’s Go….” “Ho-kies!” chants at the vigil, which meant more than they ever have, either before or after that night.

I remember the convocation, at which University President Steger and Poet Nikki Giovanni got longer and louder standing ovations than the President of the United States, who was in attendance. Even through all the raw emotions, we were able to chant “Let’s go Hokies!”.

I will never forget that day. But more importantly, I will always remember those 32, and the amazing community of Blacksburg to which they will always belong.

We ARE Virginia Tech.

Leave a Reply