8 years. It’s been 8 years since April 16th, 2007. I’ve now spent more April 16ths away from Blacksburg than I spent there. Though the years go by, the emotions of the day never change. The lovely Kate from A Thought and A Half texted me yesterday to ask about writing about April 16th. I’m glad she asked me because I really hadn’t written anything for this year’s post.
The memories of April 16 are still fresh and painful. The anxiety of retelling my story or hearing people say, “Were you there?” never goes away. But I want people to understand what came out of this tragedy. In the aftermath of the darkest day of many of our lives, we came together as Hokies and as Virginia Tech. We learned the real sense of community and the importance of a family that goes beyond biology. We experienced the compassion of strangers and the good things people do to assist those in need. We must remember that the good in people will always outweigh the evil in a few and honor the 32 in living Virginia Tech’s motto, Ut Prosim, That I May Serve. The Air Force posthumously awarded the Airman’s Medal to Matt LaPorte, a Cadet credited with saving the lives of his classmates by blocking the door. Their sacrifice will never be forgotten and will live on in the hearts and minds of the Hokie Nation forever.
We will prevail. We are Virginia Tech.