The deaths at Virginia Tech have hit all of us like a big sledgehammer on it’s way down. All over the internet prayers, thoughts and good wishes are pouring in. However, there are several people who also seem fit to point out that more than 100 people have been killed in Iraqi universities, African conflicts etc. Compared to those numbers, 33 deaths is minor, and all this is just fodder for news channels.
Here’s why it matters to us: Virginia Tech has long been known as a close knit university. Virginia Tech students and alumni are one of the most loyal and fanatical fans in the country. Fans for every sport, for every thing that is Virginia Tech. When a student joins Virginia Tech he joins the family of Hokies, after he graduates he is still a Hokie. It’s home away from home. For me Virginia Tech has been life and home for the past 5 years. That’s why it matters, 33 people killed at home. 33 family members are no more in this world. 26,000 students and even more alumni of Virginia Tech lost family members.
I didn’t know any one of those 33 people but still I grieve. Hokies are my family, family for a lifetime.
We are sad today, and we will be sad for quite a while. We are not moving on. We are embracing our mourning. We are Virginia Tech …
— Nikki Giovanni, University Distinguished Professor, poet, activist