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We Remember

April 16, 2009


I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing two years ago today because Vance was (and still is) a student at Virginia Tech.  I spent the morning frantically trying to contact Vance every way imaginable while fielding phone calls from concerned family and friends.  Luckily, our story had a happy ending.

Shortly after the shootings of April 16, 2007, I read a letter written by a young man (I wish I knew his name) that said after the Columbine shootings many people could remember the killers’ names but few people could remember the victims’ names.  He challenged everyone to remember at least one victim from the Virginia Tech shootings and that is what I’ve tried to do.

While these people lost the ultimate, their lives, there were many other victims that day too.  Others who were injured.  Family and friends of those killed or injured.  The students who lost some of their innocence and sense of safety that day.
I am deeply saddened by the events of that day, but I am proud of the way the students of Virginia Tech handled themselves after the horrible tragedy and of the people of the town of Blacksburg who embraced these students as if they were their own.
48 Comments leave one →
  1. April 16, 2009 7:55 am

    I remember this day too; it was like a bombshell to me at the time since I was in college too. It must have been so scary for you not knowing where Vance was. I can’t even imagine.

    My school put in so many emergency measures after that day. I feel so sorry for all those affected. I’m glad, though, that we remember.

  2. April 16, 2009 7:56 am

    Another day that will never ever be forgotten. Thank you for listing the names.

  3. April 16, 2009 8:02 am

    It’s a sad day to remember, but one of importance. Thanks for bringing it to mind.

  4. April 16, 2009 8:03 am

    How utterly scary to have a child on campus that day. I cannot come close to imagining.

  5. April 16, 2009 8:07 am

    Nice remembrance. I was at my in-laws…in shock.

  6. April 16, 2009 8:13 am

    I also would like to say thank you for your comment about “My Jim.”

  7. miriamparker permalink
    April 16, 2009 8:26 am

    Thanks for posting this Kathy. I was thinking this morning that as the day gets farther away, fewer people in Blacksburg will know the people who were killed. But Matthew and I will always remember Juan and Jeremy and Mora, all three of whom made impressions on our lives and on those of many others.

  8. April 16, 2009 8:49 am

    Lovely Tribute Kathy. We all should try and remember at least a few of these students. After all they meant a world to someone else.

  9. April 16, 2009 8:58 am

    I remember that I was horrified by this event and its true that the shooters are often remembers, which in one way is why some of them are drawn to committing these types of atrocities.

    I really am happy that you provided links to these victims’ sites. This is a great way to pay tribute to them.

  10. April 16, 2009 8:58 am

    Kathy, this is a lovely tribute. How poignant to list the names, and I thank you for doing so. I’m including this as part of my Best of the Week roundup (if not my post this evening), and on my FB page. Everyone should hold these names and these people in our hearts, most especially today.

  11. April 16, 2009 8:59 am

    What a beautiful sentiment Kathy. Thank you for sharing.

  12. April 16, 2009 9:54 am

    Oh wow, I can’t even begin to imagine how scary that must have been for you. I’m so glad your story had a happy ending. But like you said, many others did not 😦

  13. April 16, 2009 10:09 am

    Wow I was unaware that today marked a terrible day. I actually came here to let you know something happy, doesn’t really fit on this post, sorry.

    It’s Blog Reader Appreciation Day and I “appreciated” you on my non-book blog (although I certainly appreciate you visiting my book blog too! LOL) here:

  14. April 16, 2009 10:20 am

    Thanks for posting this. Somehow I missed all this happening last year — I knew shortly after-the-fact, but didn’t see most of what happened during the day. It must have been terrifying for you; I’m so glad Vance wasn’t hurt.

    Thanks again, this was a good reminder.

  15. April 16, 2009 10:26 am

    Kathy this is truly a beautiful tribute to a devastating event. I can’t imagine what you must have gone through and thankfully Vance was safe.
    Thank you for bringing this to our attention and to honor those who lost their life.

  16. April 16, 2009 10:33 am

    Great tribute for all those who lost their lives.

    Thanks for posting this. I send hugs for Vance.

  17. April 16, 2009 10:51 am

    What a touching tribute. I can’t even begin to imagine what it must have been like for a parent of a student in VT that day. Thanks for providing us links to all the sites. I’ll be checking these out.

  18. April 16, 2009 11:05 am

    What a wonderful tribute.

    It’s hard to imagine any good coming out of these types of situations but ever since Columbine and Virginia Tech, universities everywhere have been training their staff and faculty by providing them with survival tactics for dealing with a live shooter.

    I took my training just over 6 months ago and unfortunately, it’s something that we have to think about in this day and age. Even my kids have had live shooter drills and they are in grade school.

  19. April 16, 2009 11:08 am

    Kathy, that must have been terrifying for you. I’m glad your story had a happy ending and still sad for those that didn’t…

  20. April 16, 2009 11:33 am

    I remember this day as well but I can’t imagine the feelings you and your family must have been going through since you were so connected. Did you all know the victims you mentioned above?

  21. April 16, 2009 12:08 pm

    You lived a mother’s worst nightmare that day. I’m glad you posted this as a reminder to the rest of us. I’m saying a prayer for the victim’s families.

  22. April 16, 2009 12:11 pm

    Thank you Kathy… I am so grateful to have stopped by here today to pay a tribute and read the list of names. It means a lot to many that you posted this. Thank you.

  23. Carol permalink
    April 16, 2009 12:19 pm

    Thanks for the post, it’s a wonderful tribute.

  24. April 16, 2009 12:37 pm

    Beautiful tribute! Those are the people that we must remember and honor. Thanks for writing this post!

  25. April 16, 2009 1:19 pm

    Thanks for writing that. It really does affect generations, and the impact is not just on the victims. I really like what you had to say here.

  26. April 16, 2009 1:35 pm

    Kathy, that’s a great tribute to the innocents who died too young.
    I lived in Roanoke for nine years, and my wife is a Hokie, so the tragedy really hit home for us. Our friends had children at Tech at the time, and I remember their panic. In the newspaper business, events sometimes seem distant and tragedy commonplace, but this was one that shook me.

  27. April 16, 2009 1:40 pm

    Thank you for this wonderful post. It is so important to remember.

  28. April 16, 2009 2:22 pm

    A very fine tribute.

    I remember where I was too… in a college dorm room as a freshman, only a few hours away from Tech. I have plenty of people I went to high school with who are there, and I checked up on all of them throughout the day. Once your safety is shattered like that, it’s hard to put things back.

  29. April 16, 2009 2:30 pm

    What a fitting tribute–I think to myself, has it really been 2 years already, but I know for all those directly touched by this tragedy it feels like only yesterday. I am so glad your family story is one that ended well, and being the mother of a college age son myself I can really imagine how you were feeling that day trying to find your precious loved one.
    Thanks for helping us remember those lives that were lost.

  30. Missy permalink
    April 16, 2009 2:36 pm

    Bless you, Bermudaonion…what a lovely memorial. It is hard to believe that 2 years have passed since that tragic day. Thank you for gently reminding us, I am glad that I stopped by your page today.

  31. April 16, 2009 2:46 pm

    Thank you so much for posting the names. They will forever be in my heart.

  32. April 16, 2009 4:05 pm

    Thank you for this fine tribute, and for making a very good point. I’ll be linking to this post in my Saturday Review this week.

  33. April 16, 2009 4:10 pm

    Kathy, this is a beautiful tribute. Thank you for posting the victims’ names. I’m reminded of an ancient Egyptian saying that I’ve always thought was beautiful: “The dead live on as long as we speak their names.”

  34. April 16, 2009 7:47 pm

    Seeing the names of so many people who lost their lives on that day is so heartbreaking and so tragic. But, also necessary. Thank you for posting this.

  35. April 16, 2009 9:14 pm

    Thank you for posting the names and links … a very important post today.

    I had never connected Vance being at UV; how terrifying that day must have been for you!

  36. April 16, 2009 9:34 pm

    I can’t imagine the emotions you experienced that day and I’m glad that your son was safe. Your tribute was very moving.

  37. April 16, 2009 9:54 pm

    I remember too – I had just arrived in Virginia the day before, and if it weren’t for the snow, I would have been in Blacksburg on the day of. Thank you for the lovely post.

  38. April 16, 2009 10:16 pm

    Beautiful post. The shootings hit us hard in DC, I can’t imagine how scared you must have been. Thanks for remembering, and for reminding us.

  39. April 16, 2009 10:17 pm

    i was just thinking about this (and columbine on monday) before i stopped by. what a nice tribute for a sad anniversary.

  40. April 16, 2009 11:58 pm

    I didn’t know that Vance was there that day. It made me sick to my stomach as soon as I read your words. I can’t even imagine the terror that you and your son went through that terrible day. Your post was an excellent reminder and I’m also linking to it to pass it on. I have two sons in college and one in high school and the world feels like such an evil place to let them venture into. I know there are many more more good people than bad but my greatest fear is that harm could come to my children.

    It breaks my heart that such safety measures must be taken now but I’m grateful they are. Last year, a nearby college campus had an emergency shut down because a teacher spotted a student with a gun in his sweatshirt pocket. Fortunately it was only a pellet gun being used in a campus wide game (that came to an immediate end) but precautions were taken immediately and their system worked.

    Blessings to you and your family and all of those affected by this tragedy. Thank you for a touching memorial.

  41. April 17, 2009 2:03 am

    Thanks for helping us to remember.

  42. April 17, 2009 8:27 am

    A truly heartwarming tribute. I am glad your story ended well, but for those who lost a friend or family member, this remembrance is really important. I cannot imagine what you went through on that day.
    The attack was terrifying; it sent shockwaves throughout India as well. I do hope that something that horrific doesn’t happen again.

  43. kashicat permalink
    April 17, 2009 4:11 pm

    Kathy, I’m so glad Vance was okay that day. I can’t begin to imagine how awful it must have been for you, until you knew he was safe.

    And I appreciate your naming the people who lost their lives. I try to do something similar, on December 6, to commemorate the victims of the Montreal Massacre, where the person sent the male engineering students out of the room and then shot the female students, at L’Ecole Polytechnique in 1989.

    I decided years ago that while I would remember and honour their names, if humanly possible I would never say the name of the shooter again.

  44. April 17, 2009 5:14 pm

    What a beautiful post and a wonderful tribute, Kathy.

  45. alirambles permalink
    April 17, 2009 8:40 pm

    That must have been so terrifying for you and all the other people with family members at Virginia Tech. Thanks for helping the rest of us take a moment to remember.

  46. April 17, 2009 10:00 pm

    I can’t even imagine what you went through on that day. I’m glad that it had a happy ending for you family, and I am glad that you did this post to pay tribute to the victims. I do remember this very clearly…it was just horrifying.

  47. stacybuckeye permalink
    April 19, 2009 10:13 am

    What a terrible, horrifying day for you and Carl and Vance! Thank you for posting this.

  48. April 19, 2009 8:24 pm

    My heart goes out to you & your loved ones. I am still saddened by this senseless tragedy.
    Thank you for listing the names of all those precious & courageous souls.

    God Bless.

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