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We Remember

April 16, 2012

It’s hard for me to believe it’s been five years since a gunman (who will go unnamed here because I don’t want to immortalize him) opened fire on the beautiful campus of Virginia Tech, because I remember every detail of that day.  Vance was a student at Tech at the time so I tried to call him as soon as I heard about the shootings.  Carl and I were getting calls from everyone we knew, but we couldn’t get hold of Vance.  As panic started to set in, Carl asked me if I had any of Vance’s friends’ phone numbers.  I didn’t, but it finally occurred to me to pull out our cell phone bill and start dialing.  After calling 3 or 4 numbers, I finally got hold of someone who knew Vance was safe.  We were lucky that day, we were only left with emotional scars.  Too many people weren’t so lucky, and they’re the ones I choose to remember.

I still cry when I think of all the bright futures lost that day and I pray that we can find a way to end senseless violence.  Please remember the victims, and their families, today and every day.

45 Comments leave one →
  1. sandynawrot permalink
    April 16, 2012 6:49 am

    I feel myself choking up thinking about it too, and I was so much more removed. I can’t even CONCEIVE what it would have been like if my child were on that campus that day. It is your worst nightmare. These souls will be on my mind today.

  2. April 16, 2012 7:18 am

    I cannot believe that it has been 5 years already…scary and still stuck in my brain. I live near DC and it was all over the news and it was horrifying to listen to family members plead with their kids on tv to contact them or talking about their kids and how scared they were.

  3. April 16, 2012 8:26 am

    Oh Kathy, you brought tears to my eyes. I had no idea you were so close to it. Thank you for posting this and for listing the names. My heart goes out to all those who lost someone in this tragedy.

  4. April 16, 2012 9:02 am

    This was such a horrible day, and I can imagine that you were beside yourself with worry waiting to hear from Vance. It’s such a terrible thing to have happened. I will be keeping the people on your list in my prayers today, and will be thinking about them.

  5. April 16, 2012 9:03 am

    I remember in a much more removed way. I can’t imagine how it felt to have a child on that campus. This tragedy changed many things and the ways communication has improved on campuses too.
    Thank you for your post and I too pray our society changes these types of senseless shootings.

  6. April 16, 2012 9:05 am

    Oh My gosh….how scared you must have been!
    Thanks for not letting us forget. I will keep their families in my prayers today also.

  7. April 16, 2012 9:18 am

    What a beautiful tribute. I can only imagine how panicked you must have been trying to get hold of your son.

  8. April 16, 2012 9:20 am

    In my area we had a school shooting in 2006 and I had just graduated from that school. It’s really hard to go through. Thanks for posting about the victims, they really do deserve to be remembered.

  9. RebeccaV permalink
    April 16, 2012 9:27 am

    Thanks Kathy for the post – it is a fitting way to honor those who died too soon and their families. Hubby and I are from VA, about 1.5 hours from Blacksburg, and we were shocked when the news came on. My sister-in-law and mother graduated from VT, and many in our community had children on the campus. It is always horrifying to see such things occur, but I am grateful for the redeeming beauty of community and support that spring from such atrocities. Thanks for continuing that legacy, too.

  10. Beth Hoffman permalink
    April 16, 2012 9:34 am

    I cannot even begin to imagine what you and Carl were feeling that day. I’ll never forget watching the tragedy unfold on TV for as long as I live.

  11. booksnyc permalink
    April 16, 2012 9:35 am

    I have chills reading your post – I cannot imagine the panic you must have felt until you reached your son’s friend. Thank you for reminding us about those that were lost that day.

  12. Beth F permalink
    April 16, 2012 9:41 am

    This post gave me chills. We should never forget.

  13. April 16, 2012 9:44 am

    A nice tribute and something we shouldn’t forget. If only we could prevent the violence.

  14. April 16, 2012 9:54 am

    How horrible. I didn’t know you had been there. What a long, long list of names. I’m glad you didn’t list the killers name. I’m sorry you went through this…

  15. April 16, 2012 10:07 am

    Hard for me to believe 5 years too! Lovely post!

  16. April 16, 2012 10:15 am

    It’s hard to believe it has already been five years. What a tragedy.

  17. April 16, 2012 10:41 am

    I remember that day as my daughter’s college roomate’s husband was on campus. Thankfully he was okay too.

  18. talesofwhimsy permalink
    April 16, 2012 10:43 am

    Sweet cheezits. As a mother, I can not for one minute imagine that terror. Thank God Vance was ok and quick thinking on your part. My heart does go out to all those families who lost young bright people on that day.

  19. April 16, 2012 11:11 am

    So terrible, so sad…

  20. April 16, 2012 11:14 am

    A beautiful post. Too easily we forgot events such as this one when we’re not directly involved.

  21. April 16, 2012 11:45 am

    I can’t even imagine what you went through that day. Thank God Vance was safe. And thank you for posting this tribute so we can remember those who were not so lucky. What a tragedy.

  22. bookingmama permalink
    April 16, 2012 12:55 pm

    Thank you for doing this tribute each year. We need to remember the pain these families still feel every day.

  23. April 16, 2012 1:11 pm

    Kathy, your tribute is a great way to remember those who were affected by this senseless and tragic event.

  24. April 16, 2012 1:50 pm


  25. April 16, 2012 2:35 pm

    An awful, awful day. I have many a friend who graduated from Tech, and one whose son was a student on that day. Horrific day and I can’t believe it’s been five years.

  26. April 16, 2012 3:09 pm

    Thank goodness Vance was safe and okay. God bless the victims and their families.

  27. Patty permalink
    April 16, 2012 3:20 pm

    A beautiful and sad post…it is good to remember and sad why we do…

  28. April 16, 2012 4:17 pm

    Lovely post. I didn’t realize this event hit so close to home. Hard to believe it’s been 5 years already. My heart goes out to all of the families of the victims.

  29. April 16, 2012 4:20 pm

    What a wonderful tribute. I can’t imagine what you and your family must have been feeling that day.

  30. April 16, 2012 5:12 pm

    Oh, Kathy, thanks for the reminder. What a tragic day and I can’t even imagine what you guys felt that day. We do remember.

  31. cherylmash permalink
    April 16, 2012 5:26 pm

    Beautiful memorial Kathy. I vividly remember sitting by the TV that day and crying, not that I knew any of the victims or their families, but because of the senseless tragedy and pain that those victimized must be feeling. Beautiful!

  32. April 16, 2012 5:28 pm

    What a horrible tragedy!! It is terrible to think of all the lives lost because of a senseless act.
    My prayers go out to the people who lost a family member or friend that day. Thank God Vance was physically unharmed. I pray your families emotional scars heal soon.

  33. April 16, 2012 8:14 pm

    Thank you for doing this post. It is important to remember, and, sadly, it seems that this particular tragedy doesn’t always get remembered. I’m thankful that your family came away intact.

  34. Staci@LifeintheThumb permalink
    April 16, 2012 8:54 pm

    I remember that day all too clearly too but I’m shaking my head trying to come to grips with what you and your husband experienced trying to get ahold of Vance!!! I will remember each and every one of the victims and all of the survivors!

  35. April 16, 2012 9:39 pm

    I wasn’t aware your child was there. So glad to hear he was ok…..that had to be horrible not being able to get in touch with him.

    My heart goes out to all those parents who lost their beloved child.

  36. April 16, 2012 10:01 pm

    Tragedies like these are a parent’s worst nightmare. My heart aches for all who have lost a child.

  37. April 17, 2012 2:55 am

    you’re not immortalizing him by naming him. you’re telling the world that there was one person responsible for the tragedy, and not blaming others in the faculty and staff in hindsight. I love my school and have always trusted those leading me. I will never blame them for any actions taken that day, regardless of the outcome. Though I am not angry anymore either, nor filled with any regret. Regret is living without learning.

  38. April 17, 2012 7:52 am

    Though it’s difficult to believe it has been five years I don’t think I’ll ever forget this senseless tragedy. My thoughts are with the loved ones.

  39. April 17, 2012 10:14 am

    Reading through these stories, my heart breaks for the victims and their families — and for everyone who has had to press on in the wake of this tragedy. I was finishing my senior year of college when this occurred and, like those who remember where they were when they heard Elvis died or the Twin Towers had been struck, can recall when I first heard about the shootings. So senseless.

  40. boardinginmyforties permalink
    April 17, 2012 6:49 pm

    Thank you for helping us to remember Kathy. Too often these events get big press and then they are forgotten. So many lives cut short, such a tragic, tragic event. I’m glad your son was and is okay but I know the emotional scars will last forever.

  41. April 17, 2012 11:21 pm

    Kathy, Thank you for reminding us every year about this senseless tragedy. My heart goes out to the families that weren’t as lucky as yours.

  42. April 18, 2012 12:26 pm

    I can’t believe it’s been five years. When I saw it mentioned on the news, I immediately thought of you and knew I’d find this post. What a beautiful tribute and thanks for calling on us to take time to remember the victims.

  43. April 19, 2012 10:49 am

    It’s hard to believe so many years have passed already. Such a sad tragedy. I can only imagine how terrified you were waiting to hear if Vance was safe. Thank God he was. All of these families are in my prayers.

  44. April 19, 2012 11:17 am

    Wow I can’t believe it’s been that long either. That must have been such a scary feeling. So glad your son was okay, but I agree we definitely need to remember those students. Thanks for listing them here.

  45. April 20, 2012 2:12 pm

    Oh kathy. You must have been so scared when you couldn’t get ahold of Vance. I remember watching this on the news–so unbelievable.

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