In Memoriam, April 16, 2010


Today marks the anniversary of the deaths of 32 students and faculty members at Virginia Tech.  I still grieve with the families and friends of those killed.  I also grieve with the shooter’s family, who lost a child as well that day.

I am grateful that The CEO made it home that day (the building where he teaches is the closest academic building to the dorm where the first shootings occurred).  I am grateful for the efforts of local law enforcement and emergency responders, and those of medical workers.  I am grateful for the outpouring of support that came from all over the world. 

Today we pause and remember the bright stars we lost.   If you go visit the Virginia Tech memorial website, on the right sidebar you will see the names of those killed.  Clicking on a name will open a brief bio, each one a picture of a vibrant, unique person whose loss diminishes the human community.   If you have time, I highly recommend your investigating Dr. Liviu Librescu, a survivor of a Nazi concentration camp, who at the age of 76 held the classroom door closed against gunfire, in order to give his students the opportunity to escape through the second story window.  I am in awe of that sacrificial love in action.


Photo is Hokies Thank the World, by Michael Kiernan,  from the site.


10 thoughts on “In Memoriam, April 16, 2010”

  1. Thank you for reminding us of this tragic anniversary– and, as always, reminding us too that terrible circumstances bring out the best of human nature.

    I am so sorry to hear that your family was so directly impacted by this awful violence.

    Here’s wishing you a day of peace.

  2. I thank you for the reminder, and the opportunity to remember. The actions of Dr. Librescu struck a chord at the time, though his name did not. I think it will now, though; my mangling and latinizing of roots makes me see “Life” in his first name and “Liberty” in the second. Fitting, given his biography.

    My thoughts join yours.

  3. I can’t thank you enough for sharing Dr. Librescu’s story. I don’t remember hearing about it in the news. I’m sorry that you were such a direct witness to a tragic day.

    1. JF, I think it’s a story that deserves to be told often.

      It was a difficult day. It was particularly shocking that it happened in quiet, friendly, small-town Blacksburg.

  4. what a beautiful post. thank you. Dr. Librescu’s story is so moving. Amazing what horrors human nature can inflict – and what beautiful heroism.

    Thank you for allowing us to remember.

  5. I’m so glad that your husband was okay. Tech has the sweetest kids- I just can’t understand why awful things keep happening there.

    1. Ari, it is a puzzle to us too why things keep happening to VT students. Blacksburg is such a quiet, friendly town. There does seem to be a large number of international students, but there’s rarely any on-campus conflict. There isn’t even any pattern to the weird, awful stuff:

      One emotionally/mentally disturbed American undergrad from a Korean family, with a grudge against everybody, three guns, and a terrible plan.

      One emotionally disturbed Chinese grad student who killed another Chinese grad student in an on-campus dining area when she wouldn’t agree to marry him, two weeks after they met.

      Two American undergraduates, a couple active in on-campus Christian groups, having a picnic at an area just out of town which is frequented by hikers, students, and townspeople, shot by their car by persons unknown.

      One American undergrad, drunk and hitchhiking in Charlottesville, killed and left in a field.

      So strange. And awful.

Leave a Reply to JolieFleurs Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *