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A Day of Remembrance at Virginia Tech

April 16, 2010
  • Expressions of Remembrance events will be held all day throughout the Virginia Tech campus.
Expressions of Remembrance events will be held all day throughout the Virginia Tech campus.

The Hokie Nation came together Friday to remember and honor the 32 people killed on campus. 

It was three years ago today that a student gunman shot and killed teachers and students before turning the gun on himself. 

The mood on campus was different than in years past.  It was not as solemn.  It's probably to be expected as most of the students that now attend Virginia Tech were not students when the shootings took place.

But for those that were at Tech or lost loved ones, this day is about celebrating the lives of the 32 killed.

"It doesn't get any easier, but you learn to manage your feelings.  You get power from life and honor Reema," said Mona Samaha, Reema's mother.


Mona Samaha lost her daughter Reema that day.  She says she never felt anger, but she has always been searching for understanding, wondering why this happened.

The victims' families aren't the only ones on campus to pay tribute.  Students and members of the community lined up to remember, reflect and honor those killed that morning.

Flowers were placed at the 32-individual stones, as a candle burned brightly.

The entire drillfield will be lit up Friday night, as the community comes together for a candlelight vigil.  It will begin at 7:30 p.m.


Friday morning the Hokie community came together for a Run of Remembrance. 

Just after 8 a.m., more than 6,000 people turned out for the run.  It included students, staff and many from the surrounding area.

They ran 3.2 miles in honor of the 32 lives taken on April 16, 2007.


RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- Gov. Bob McDonnell led a ceremony marking the third anniversary of the shootings at Virginia Tech.

McDonnell on Friday read a proclamation at a gathering at the state Capitol bell tower honoring the 32 who died and those who were injured in the shootings. He also said the state would observe Virginia Tech Remembrance Day each April 16 during the four years of his term.

The crowd observed a moment of silence, and McDonnell then read the names of each of the students and faculty fatally shot by a student gunman on April 16, 2007. The ceremony ended with the bell ringing 32 times.

And a number of events will be hold on campus to honor those killed. 

List of events taking place on Friday:

  • A ceremonial candle will be lit at the April 16 Memorial about midnight.
  • A 3.2-mile Run in Remembrance will start at Alumni Mall near the North Main Street entrance of campus at 8 a.m. Officials expect more than 5,000 participants.
  • A community picnic on the Drillfield will take place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Several events will be held at various locations from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. as part of the Expressions of Remembrance. Among these events are a community arts project, a memorial slideshow and a display highlighting the academic achievements and interests of the 32 victims.
  • From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., presentations will be held in the Squires Student Center to showcase student research, involvement, cultural experiences and general scholarship.
  • The War Memorial Chapel is available from 1 to 8 p.m. for private reflection and remembrance. Musicians will perform from 1 to 5 p.m., and candles will be available to light in memory of lost loved ones.
  • An open house will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. on the second floor of Norris Hall. The Norris Hall Art Gallery also will be open during those times.
  • A panel discussion on community resilience is scheduled for 4 p.m. at the Lyric Theatre.
  • At sunset, a commemoration and candlelight vigil will be held on the Drillfield at the April 16 Memorial.
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