A day to remember at Virginia Tech

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 17, 2008

The news out of Blacksburg came slowly in the morning one year ago today.

Two people had been shot in a dorm on the campus of Virginia Tech.

Then, about two hours later, multiple gunshots were heard in a classroom building. Reports of deaths began surfacing. Soon, television crews brought to the world images of the cold, snowy morning on that vast campus. College students and possibly others were shot and killed in the classes.

Reports came in from eyewitnesses, whether from cell phone reports or from television interviews. Often, there were contradictions in the facts being offered. Police officers blanketed the grounds, some in combat gear taking cover behind trees.

For parents of students it was a terrible morning, not knowing answers to the most basic of questions: Was my child all right? For 27 sets of parents, that answer was no.

Later, of course, there was blame.

The Virginia Tech Review Panel, a state-appointed body assigned to review the incident, criticized school administrators for failing to take action that might have reduced the number of casualties. It also reviewed gun laws and pointed out gaps in mental health care and how to prevent such a tragedy in the first place.

Some so-called fixes have been put in place.

But on this day one year later, we don’t dwell on the repairs. We remember. We pray.