Today I participated in a memorial run to remember the 32 people that were tragically killed on April 16, 2007. While I wasn’t a student here at the time, I had several friends that were, and hearing them talk about the impact that the shooting has on their life to this day is heartbreaking. However, one of the best things that we can do is remember those who lost their lives. Before writing this post, I wanted to remember in my own way, so I did some simple research about the events of that day. I was incredibly struck by the story of Liviu Librescu – a Holocaust survivor and VT professor at the time. Librescu barricaded the door to his classroom with his body and ultimately sacrificed himself so that his students could escape through the window. He was a man who had seen the worst of humanity, yet he still had enough faith in people to give himself up so that others could live. People like him remind me that even in the darkest times and the saddest tragedies, there is always hope.
Participating in the memorial run was special for me. I went there alone and somehow ran into two of my friends among the thousands of others that were there. It’s estimated that 10,000 people participated in the run today. While the events of April 16th, 2007 are still a tragedy, it was beautiful to see and feel the sense of community that surrounded the event. Virginia Tech and the Blacksburg community have rallied to bring light back into a dark place by making new memories while remembering the 32 people that couldn’t run with us today.