I have struggled all day with how to articulate how I feel in light of the events that occurred on the Virginia Tech campus early this afternoon. I have spent the day with my roommate and close friends; offering support to each other at such an unsure time.
I recognize that terrible things happen in the world, and we will never be able to escape them. It is especially painful for our university to be the victim of such senseless violence after the devastation in 2007. I am saddened by the fact that so many are quick to judge the circumstances because of the past. I am disappointed that people make assumptions without grounds to base their judgement. These rash conclusions deepen the hurt in our hearts from years ago. When it comes down to it, there is violence everywhere. But there is also love. At the end of today, a brave man lost his life, and that should be the thing on everyone's minds.
A VTPD Officer lost his life today while on the job. This is the community that he represented, and to say anything less of it is not only disrespectful but also ignorant. No one ever deserves hate or violence or strife. We are not a campus of violence. We are NOT a community of criminals. We are 27,000 members of one of the most tight-knit families in the nation. My heart breaks from the events of today, and my prayers go to the officer's family. Senseless acts happen in the world, but to overcome them we must stand together. This university has made me the person I am today, and I will defend it the rest of my life. I stand here firm in my belief that being a Hokie is the greatest privilege in the world.
I am so grateful for the security system we now have in place here. I am glad that I felt informed throughout the day. I am eternally thankful for the brave men and women who give their time and their lives to protect us. The police force on campus and in the surrounding area was truly a blessing, and it warms my heart to see people coming together out of love and support. To me, that is the Hokie community. That is Virginia Tech. Terrible events can happen anywhere. Never before have I seen such dedication to protecting and defending a community. Some people will continue to pass callous judgement about the school and question my own decision to reside in Blacksburg. Some will try to deter others from attending or visiting the university. I am so sad for these individuals because they will not ever know the love, support, pride, duty, community, and brotherhood that this school truly represents and instills in its members.
Let us not forget those affected by the tragedy of 2007. I send my deepest sympathies. I cannot imagine how these news reports and phone calls and comments make you feel. I think of you always and carry you in my heart.
In remembrance of the Hokies lost, both today and in the years past; we continue in your honor.