Friday, April 18, 2008

Remembering: VT tragedy

"Amid nearly 50 students, junior Devon Gallo consoles Jackie Dragon Wednesday night at the Speaker’s Circle during a vigil held in remembrance of the victims of shootings at Virginia Tech. April 16 marked the one-year anniversary of the tragedy that left 33 people, including the gunman, dead."

As the sun set over Towson's campus Wednesday evening, candles affixed inside red cups illuminated the solemn faces of more than 50 students who attended a vigil to mark the one-year anniversary of the tragedy at Virginia Tech (Thanks, Nick. This is your one and only plug, ha).

Tragic stories, events such as these and 9/11 will always be etched into my mind. The vivid detail of the day as it unraveled is unlike any other day anyone has ever had.

For those directly involved, I am sure it has much more meaning and significance in their lives than my own, but it’s a situation where everyone remembers.

I remember day. I was sitting at my desk in The Towerlight on an early morning.

An assignment got canceled and I wasn’t even supposed to be in there around 10 a.m.

Friend and editor and chief at the time, Brian always had the television on when he was in the office.

While his blogging played a part of it, it’s like he knew when something happened before it ever did. Whether it was a car chase or a politician doing something or saying something dumb, the television would be turned on minutes before it was broadcast.

April 16, 2007 wasn’t any different.

I remember him turning on the television and we all thought, OK, just another school shooting. It’s sad to say, but it’s true. Just another shooting.

But then, the fatality numbers starting increasing and it was speculated the shooter was still alive on campus.

It seemed if everyone’s lives had stopped. Everything was suddenly not as important as finding the up to the minute news on Virginia Tech.

I decided to skip class, something just didn’t feel right, and other staff members where returning to the office saying they couldn’t sit in class knowing this was happening. We all huddled around the television and watched the entire breaking news cast.

The shooting started off with one casualty and later reported over 30 dead.

The day turned out to be reported as the deadliest mass shooting in nation's history.

Doing what we could, we all once again put everything that truly matter to us aside, and worked hard to put out a special edition of The Towerlight the very next morning. It was long, unexpected and sad, but it was worth it to each and every one of us.

Now day had many turns in it and I am not vividly describing each action of my day. But I remember it verbatim. I even thought of driving there to cover the aftermath. But I never did, and I regret it.

It’s now one year later. And I still remember it all; just like the entire nation. Everyone showed thier support, and I covered all the events on Towson's campus Wednesday.

It’s very scary that these types of things can happen. My thoughts and prayers go out to the students and families of the victims injured and killed, and those still suffering from the actions of the gunman.


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