The past several days have been a whirlwind. We were spared the grief and sorrow that comes with losing a loved one: Murray is safe and sound. He was able to find a computer and send me an instant message saying he was fine. It was because of his message at around 10:30 AM that we were also spared the white-knuckled hours so many parents around the country endured as they hoped that their son or daughter was not one of the victims.
The bombardment of images, video, and commentary that followed the shooting were overwhelming. I was particularly struck by the juxtaposition of familiar Hokie Stone behind disturbing scenes of police officers, victims, and EMS personnel. Every Virginia Tech alumnus mourns for our brothers and sisters. Virginia Tech was our home for at least four years, and now that home has been violated.
In the midst of all the shock, anger, disbelief, and sadness, I can’t help but feel one positive emotion in the aftermath of the shootings at my alma mater. Pride. These students, clearly shocked and frightened, have handled themselves admirably. They have expressed a quiet strength and dignity that should make their parents, their fellow students, the university faculty and staff, and all Tech alumni proud. Jay Cooper had this to say in an opinion piece in the Sacramento Bee.
These “kids” refused to rise to the bait being dangled by anchors insistently asking “aren’t you angry?” and instead defended the decisions made by their university administrators, offered context and perspective on the nature of life on their campus and kept their remarks focused on what truly mattered, the sudden and tragic loss of their colleagues, professors and friends.
The topic of the university’s handling of the situation and the media’s response are items that I would like to address eventually, but not right now. It’s all just too fresh. But the response by the students has been tremendous, and I couldn’t be prouder to be a Hokie.
Photo not mine! Credit will be posted when I can figure out who actually took it!