It is hard to imagine that it has been 5 years
since that day on a beautiful campus in Southwest Virginia, where people were just doing what they do...
Living their lives in living color there in
Life changed drastically
when a shooter took the lives of
32 students and faculty
5 years ago;
and the lives of a community, a nation
were forever changed.
Starting at midnight last night,
candles were lit,
and today begins a day of
We all REMEMBER so many that were taken from this earth too soon
and so violently from those who love them.
Today they will remember,
they will honor first responders,
they will surround each other with
HOPE, FAITH, and a spirit of healing
with courage that moves mountains
there in beautiful
in the hours after that horrific shooting and such loss of lives, and trauma felt;
and created what was become known as the
Hokie Stones to honor the 32 who were killed hours before on the drillfield there.
That powerful and inspiration filled semi-circle became the gathering place for support and now is the memorial place where they will gather today,
where faith is renewed, spirit is fed,
where the permanent Hokie Stones Memorial is seated for all time
to Remember, to Never Forget
that day, those who died
the relentless courage to move forward in all that one is and does in life
while remembering a day that forever changed the life and look of a campus
that was just like any other day until shots rang out and 32 died.
and the world now knows of
and those Hokie Birds
who soar to great heights
by standing and flapping their wings
and saying the names of
32 students and faculty
yet keeping them close at heart always
in a little town near where my family lives!
Those Hokies are a force to be reckoned with,
a spirit that will not be driven down,
WE WILL NOT FORGET APRIL 16TH.
Not so long ago, VA Tech had another suspicious threat, it was a day that here I felt a sincere heart stop as I heard a potential shooter again was on the campus... and not far from where Kamryn was there in an auditorium with the Hokie Camp for kids.
As I listened to the breaking news; as Dot headed to the campus, as Kam's Mom was enroute I kept praying,
this just cannot be another April 16th...
The campus was on lock-down in a hot second, the PD was there to join with campus police, the kids were shooting hoops never knowing of threat that loomed just outside the doors ...
And thankfully they were safely escorted to the cars and led off the campus,
all was returned to normal,
everything was A-OK.
We here of tragedy in and across our lands
of little kids carrying handguns into their middle and high schools
and shake our heads in wonder.
We heard of a man who was "unhappy" in California and walked into his nursing school there and opened fire.
We have to again shake our heads, hang them, and look up in asking
let's join in remembering
32 students and faculty who died along with the many who were injured
5 years ago.
A community and families who today gather, who remember, who mourn, who are standing in remembrance and in their amazing spirit to heal and move forward while saying
We Will Never forget ...
is one of great courage, pride and beauty
in its resiliency.
Prayers to those who are grieiving the
and continued hope in your healing.
- Christopher James Bishop
- Brian R. Bluhm
- Ryan Christopher Clark
- Austin Michelle Cloyd
- Jocelyne Couture-Nowak
- Kevin P. Granata
- Matthew Gregory Gwaltney
- Caitlin Millar Hammaren
- Jeremy Michael Herbstritt
- Rachael Elizabeth Hill
- Emily Jane Hilscher
- Jarrett Lee Lane
- Matthew Joseph La Porte
- Henry J. Lee
- Liviu Librescu
- G.V. Loganathan
- Partahi Mamora Halomoan Lumbantoruan
- Lauren Ashley McCain
- Daniel Patrick O’Neil
- Juan Ramon Ortiz-Ortiz
- Minal Hiralal Panchal
- Daniel Alejandro Perez Cueva
- Erin Nicole Peterson
- Michael Steven Pohle, Jr.
- Julia Kathleen Pryde
- Mary Karen Read
- Reema Joseph Samaha
- Waleed Mohamed Shaalan
- Leslie Geraldine Sherman
- Maxine Shelly Turner
- Nicole Regina White
The sage is lit, the smoke is filling the air
and I whet my breath for all who died at the hand of another on April 16th
needlessly without reason
on a lovely day at VA TECH.
For those who were injured that day,
many blessings and continued healing to you and yours.
For those now there today,
thank you for remembering,
best of all things to the community there
HOKIE NATION ROCKS!
WALK IN BEAUTY