If you read along here then you probably know that I graduated from Virginia Tech.
But what you may not know is that I was a junior at VT in 2007 and was on campus at the time of the shootings that occurred on April 16th. Needless to say, I’m carrying a heavy heart today- the 8th anniversary of this horrible event.
I didn’t originally want to go to Virginia Tech. William and Mary was my first choice school but I wasn’t accepted there. I was so disappointed when I sent my acceptance letter to Virginia Tech instead… this is funny to me now because I can’t imagine any greater place to go to college!
You can ask any Hokie out there… Virginia Tech is a special place. It has been 7 years since I finished undergrad but I still feel like I’m going home every time I walk on campus. I’m happy whenever I pull off of interstate and make my way into Blacksburg. I meet another Hokie and automatically feel like we’re friends. I wear my Hokie pride on my sleeve as many alumni do.
So you can imagine my devastation on the morning of April 16, 2007, huddled in a stranger’s dorm room, when over a period of hours I learned of the events that had unfolded. I can’t even describe my feelings. Confusion. Fear. Anger. Sadness. The list could go on.
It is hard to believe it has been 8 years. I vividly remember every single thing about that day, from what I was wearing to the bitter cold weather with snow flurries. I still randomly think about the 32 people lost and still, 8 years later, find myself reading about their lives.
So I guess the point of my post is this: as horrible as that day was, what I remember the most is the kindness that was shown to the VT community during that time. Strangers giving hugs in the drill field. Rival schools sending us love. Celebrities reaching out via social media. Musicians holding a free concert for us. Professors helping students in any way they could.
What I have learned over the past 8 years is that evil exists in this world and horrible things happen that make us question humanity. But there is also a lot of good, love and kindness out there as well, and these always seems to rise above the bad. In the dark, there will eventually always be light.
So today, in honor of 32, let’s agree…
to not take life for granted
to recognize that each and every day is a gift
to treat people with kindness and respect
to serve others when we can
and to be the light when there is darkness
Sending love to my VT family today <3
Thanks Amanda for the Thinking Out Loud Thursday link-up.