Originally Posted on April 17, 2007
On Monday, before my class meeting, the press reported a series of shootings on the campus of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg. A 23-year-old English student from South Korea opened fire inside his dorm, then into a classroom killing at least 30 people. In the end, he killed himself. So far, there has been plenty of speculation as to the motivations of this young man.
Before that, Virginia Tech experienced a similar incident at the beginning of the school year when the campus was shut down to locate an escaped prisoner who shot a hospital security guard and a sheriff’s deputy.
My experience with the Blacksburg campus is through a close friend who graduated from there in 1998. I visited him on campus a year before and fell in love with the area. The mountains and the setting of the Hokie Stone buildings are breathtaking and peaceful. It was worth the four-and-a-half hour drive from Falls Church to see him. When I attended his graduation, I knew it would be the last time I would experience the beauty of Southwestern Virginia.
In one morning, that peace was shattered by a few rounds of bullets.
To the Virginia Tech family, including its alumni, the families of its students, faculty and staff, I wish to express my condolences to you all on this sad and jarring event. I can only ask for healing and restoration of peace back to the Southwestern Virginia mountains again.
Today, we are all Hokies!