Yesterday, I didn't check my email until after lunch, that was the first I heard of the tragedy that transpired on the Virginia Tech campus. My son James called around 3:00 to see if I had heard, as he knows several students attending VT. That was when I heard that the loss of life had risen from 22 to 30. As a parent of a recent college graduate my first thoughts went to all the mothers and fathers of VT students, who learned of this abominable act and wondered if their child or children were safe. We learned from the local evening news that a young woman from the Pine Richland School District (the district that adjoins ours) was one of the students who had been shot while sitting in French class. Hilary Strollo, is a freshman at VT, her older brother is a senior, Hilary was one of only two students who survived that classroom. This morning I sent an email to a friend whose daughter is a sophamore at VT, sending her prayers that Whitney was safe and unharmed. In the next few days as we learn more details of the gunman, I hope that the media does not ignore the 32 students and teachers who lost their lives or the almost 30 injured who are still in hospital. Their stories are the ones that need to be told, their faces are the ones we need to see. An eloquent young woman on the Today Show wished that this not become the legacy of VT, that their school is so much more than this one incident, the fact that so many of the student body have choosen to remain on campus rather than leave is a tribute to this statement.
I am always struck by the helplessness one feels in incidents such as these, the toll that such a senseless act can inflict. My heart and prayers goes out all those who are touched by this tragedy, the students, their parents, their teachers, administrators, university staff, the police, medical providers and even the media, as I am not sure how you travel through events such as these and remain unchanged.