Tuesday, April 17, 2007

tragedy at virginia tech

Their voices rose thinly against the drone of newscasts on the movie screen at the end of the dining hall, the endlessly grim reports live from this place where they are but somehow aren't, as if the wind has carried a part of them away, too. They talked about whether to go home for the weekend, or stay and study for final exams two weeks away. Someone came back from the food line exclaiming, "God, I love cake!" and Jessica Micsan shook her head but laughed gratefully. - "After the Gunshots, Sounds of Sorrow and Dauntless Youth," Washington Post
How do you relate to people facing what is not just a personal tragedy but a tragedy of national scale? How can I, a five hours' drive away through those lonely mountains, ever hope to comprehend the horrors that took place yesterday?

And what does it take for one person to heal? For a college campus? For a nation always willing to start a new round of fearmongering, never willing to hope that a massacre like yesterday's will never happen again?

The closest I may ever be to the shootings at Virginia Tech is that I visited the school last year to sing, and we sang in the building next to Norris Hall, where thirty people lost their lives yesterday. My only impression of the place before is that it seemed very peaceful, and very beautiful, and though I'd never thought to apply there, it seemed like a good place to go to school, and I hope that its reputation - as trivial as this may sound now - remains that way.

We can only pray that this remains an isolated incident, and that the families of those thirty kids - who, like me, were looking forward to so much - can one day be healed, and that the 26,000 who were lucky to live through Monday can finish their school year with some sense of normalcy.

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