It has been three years since I was driving home from work and got a call from my mother. It’s weird, because I don’t remember anything that happened that day up until that phone call. I remember the precise intersection of traffic I was at when I got the call, but I don’t remember the route I took to get there. It’s like a video playing in my head and the tape starts when I said “hello”. I assume it had been a normal day, Mom had just gotten home from work as well and just called to see what I was up to. As we were talking she turned on the television and all I heard was a gasp. I asked what was wrong and she said “there’s been a shooting at Virginia Tech”. The gasp she let out was because she knew I had friends there.
My mouth dropped and a million things started to run through my head. A few months earlier, a few of my friends and I had traveled to Blacksburg to visit one of our friends and attend a football game. That friend would be Danni and she was a sweetheart. She would have to be to put up with 5 guys for a weekend. She invited us down because Virginia Tech was set to take on Ohio University and she thought it would be fun. She was definitely correct on that aspect. I have never had a better time visiting a college in my life and yes, I have been to Ohio State.
When I got to my house after what seemed like the longest ride home from work ever, I ran inside and sat down and began to watch the news unfold. I went to my computer and started to send out messages to people I knew at Virginia Tech to make sure they and others were alright. Fortunately, Danni was not there at the time of the incident. I did get a response from someone else that day and she assured me though scared, everyone else was alright. She said she didn’t know what to do and that most of her friends were accounted for but she was waiting to her from a few more. I was at a slight ease for the moment but still kind of in shock. The footage they were showing on the news was from places I had been just months prior. From where I was sitting I was scared, I can’t imagine the trauma that students on that campus had to go through. The way the students, faculty, staff and town held together in the aftermath is a true testament of the human spirit and will.
Today, Governor Bob McDonnell and a large crowd gathered at the state Capitol bell tower in Richmond, Virginia to honor those who lost their lives that day. They observed a moment of silence while McDonnell read aloud the 32 names of the victims. Once finished the bell was rung 32 times for the fallen. In Blacksburg, classes were canceled for the day and different events have been planned throughout the day to honor the victims.