Remembering Virginia Tech Massacre, 2 years on

i-f875c0b07d9b3cb6229668554781b35a-alice.jpgIt's maybe hard for some of us to believe, but it has been 2 years since the Virginia Tech massacre. Day of Remembrance activities in Blacksburg include a candlelight vigil, a memorial run, and an open house in the renovated Norris Hall.

It's amazing for me to think about how we are two years on from this event -- in particular, because I interviewed at Virginia Tech the week before, and turned down their offer the morning of the massacre, right before it happened. It was surreal, almost too much to believe.

Once I heard the news, I immediately emailed the folks I had met with, terrified of what it might mean if I didn't hear back from them. The department head let me know that everyone was unhurt; however, as time bore out, some colleagues found that although they survived, they were not "okay."

Blacksburg was a lovely little town, and Virginia Tech was a lovely campus and community from what I saw; I could not believe such violence could come to the idyllic place I had just visited. I can't imagine how people who live and work there feel, even still.

For faculty, I believe the option was given to them to stop their tenure clocks for a year to try to help recover in the aftermath. VT also opened the Office of Recovery and Support to help students, staff, faculty, and their families. I would be interested in hearing how effective those measures have been for those impacted by the shooting.

Virginia Tech canceled classes for today again this year; I understand that next year, April 16 will fall on a weekend, and the year after as well, so there will therefore be 2 more years of no classes. I believe the plan is for April 16 to return to the class schedule when it naturally comes around to the beginning of the week, which seems a thoughtful way to carry on.

Still... fierce hugs to all the folks at VT, and who were at VT.

From Blacksburg

From my visit to VT in April, 2007.

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Thanks, Alice. The remembering matters. As we say here, neVer forgeT.

But community is a healing thing. Slowly, slowly. Mostly what we have learned is that each person moves forward in their own way and the best we can do is support one other's paths....