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April 16th Only Gets Harder With Each Passing Year

Healing is important, but not as important as confronting the day each year to remember those lost.

You'd think that after seven years some of the pain would have subsided, but it has not. Because for each year we are removed from the senseless, tragic massacre that occurred on April 16, 2007, we have lost yet another year of positive contributions and good feelings that the 32 victims would have bestowed on their families, friends, and communities. The families they might have started, the careers they would have thrived in, all gone in an instant, but the effects left to linger for a lifetime.

It is important to remember the victims today, and what they stood for. They represented US, and everything the University strives to be. They represent hope, in terms of hope that communities can remain as resolute as the VT community (and all the others who supported us) were in the wake of the horrific proceedings that took place that morning. We just wish that we didn't have to suffer the victims in order to set that example for everyone else. Unfortunately they also represented the last morning students at Virginia Tech were able to walk around and consider ANYTHING at all to be out of the realm of possibility. It was simply unthinkable at the time. How blissful the ignorance. How blessed we were before then to move about so carelessly.

Such cost can never be measured. The ripple effect of that day still laps at the shores of our consciousness any time there is a mass shooting. We lament, we regret, we feel irrationally responsible somehow, because after all it's all about us, right? Wrong. We must separate ourselves, and remind ourselves that even though this occurred on our home turf, that the VERY REASON it was so wicked a deed is that WE ARE VIRGINIA TECH, and we hold ourselves to a higher set of standards as a community.

Enough about what the 32 victims' deaths represent though. We must also take time to remember who they were in life! I find this website VT has set up to be very effective at doing exactly that:

Take some time to read a few bios at the right of the page, even if you didn't know them. We owe it to them.

I chose this time stamp to publish this, because it is my own way of remembering where I was when I heard the news, and how to never forget it, or take anyone or anything I hold dear for granted.

I leave you with this, because it should be required annual reading, from Professor Nikki Giovanni:

We are Virginia Tech.

We are sad today, and we will be sad for quite a while. We are not moving on, we are embracing our mourning.

We are Virginia Tech.

We are strong enough to stand tall tearlessly, we are brave enough to bend to cry, and we are sad enough to know that we must laugh again.

We are Virginia Tech.

We do not understand this tragedy. We know we did nothing to deserve it, but neither does a child in Africa dying of AIDS, neither do the invisible children walking the night away to avoid being captured by the rogue army, neither does the baby elephant watching his community being devastated for ivory, neither does the Mexican child looking for fresh water, neither does the Appalachian infant killed in the middle of the night in his crib in the home his father built with his own hands being run over by a boulder because the land was destabilized. No one deserves a tragedy.

We are Virginia Tech.

The Hokie Nation embraces our own and reaches out with open heart and hands to those who offer their hearts and minds. We are strong, and brave, and innocent, and unafraid. We are better than we think and not quite what we want to be. We are alive to the imaginations and the possibilities. We will continue to invent the future through our blood and tears and through all our sadness.

We are the Hokies.

We will prevail.

We will prevail.

We will prevail.

We are Virginia Tech.

And below is the YouTube if you feel the need to fire yourself up, shed a few pent up tears, or if by some odd chance you've never seen it before:

My very best to everyone on this very trying day.

--Flyers 13