Tomorrow morning, while all of you are getting ready to go to church, go to work, or preparing for Easter dinner, I will be crying. 10 years ago, tragedy of an unthinkable proportion struck Virginia Tech. My home, my community, my everything. 32 students and staff were heartlessly gunned down in West Ambler Johnston Hall and Norris Hall. Just today, I walked past Norris Hall with my best friend, we looked over and tried to picture that morning. The loss of innocent life, the horror. Those victims were me, they were in my major, they shared common interests, they ate in the same dining halls and lived in the same dorms.
I ask that tomorrow you take a moment to remember, and to never forget how special our lives and the lives of those around us are.
For those that are not familiar with what happened, or wish to have a better understanding, I would suggest reading this: http://www.washingto...7041600533.html
I will leave you with this from First Lady Michelle Obama. Many of you might only know of Virginia Tech as the place were the largest school mass shooting (at the time) took place, but I urge you not to.
"But the truth is, graduates, there will always be folks who make assumptions about you based on superficial things like where you’re from, or what you’re wearing, or how you look. There will always be folks who judge you based on just one thing that you say or do; folks who define you based on one isolated incident. And here at Virginia Tech, I know you all know a thing or two about what that’s like.But you also know that in the end, people can only define you if you let them. In the end, it’s up to each of us to define ourselves. It’s up to each of us to invent our own future with the choices we make and the actions we take. That’s why Norris Hall is now the home of the Center for Peace Studies and Violence Prevention, and West Ambler Johnston Hall will soon be reopened as a new residential college. That is why this year, on April 16th, you started attending class again, choosing to honor their lives by moving forward with your own.And that is why, when you all are out there in the world and you meet someone and you tell them that you’re from Virginia Tech, and they say, “Huh, isn’t that the school where” -- I want you to interrupt them right there and say, “Yes, it is the school where we have some of the best academic programs and professors in the country." That’s what you tell them. You tell them, "Yes, it is the school where students are passionate about serving their country and supporting each other. And by the way, which also has the best campus food you’ll ever eat." Who can say that?You tell them, “Yes, it’s the school where we produce graduates who are leaders in their industries, and pillars of their communities, and who carry their Hokie pride with them every day for the rest of their lives." You say, “Yes, that is the school I attend. That is Virginia Tech.”