Yesterday was the tenth anniversary of the Virginia Tech Massacre.
The morning, ten years ago today, was just a normal day. I had a meeting with Dr. Hockensmith about a paper we were writing, followed by a meeting with some students about using the glass melting furnace in Jones 175. My phone kept ringing during the meetings, and I didn’t understand why.
Dr. Hirschfeld came into my lab and told me that “something has happened at Virginia Tech” and asked if I still knew people there…
Stack and his friend were killed a few doors down from my old dorm room. A few hours later later, 30 more students were killed in Norris Hall, where I had spent so much of my undergraduate life. There are over 100 buildings on the VT campus, and I spent the bulk of my time in Norris Hall, and the one next to it, Holden Hall.
While I was not there the day of the shooting (I was at NMT by then, working on my MS), ten years later, it’s all still surreal. My friend, Stack, was killed.
We remember the 32 victims.
We remember Emily J. Hilscher and Ryan “Stack” Clark who were killed in the dorm. Stack was an RA at the time and likely came over to investigate the noise.
We remember Professor G. V. Loganathan, who was teaching an advanced hydrology class when he was killed.
We remember Dr. Liviu Librescu, who survived the holocaust, but then was killed while holding the door to his classroom closed. Most of his students jumped from a second-story window and survived the attack.
We remember Instructor Jocelyne Couture-Nowak and Henry Lee who attempted to bar the door to their classroom.
We remember Air Force ROTC Cadet Matthew La Porte, who died while charging after the shooter in an attempt to disarm him.
We remember Professor Kevin Granata, who hid his students in his office. They were uninjured. Dr. Granata was killed when he went looking for more students.
We remember Jamie Bishop, who was teaching German class that day.
We remember Ross Alameddine,Brian Bluhm, Austin Cloyd, Daniel Perez Cueva, Matthew Gwaltney, Caitlin Hammaren, Jeremy Herbstritt, Rachael Hill, Jarrett Lane, Partahi Lumbantoruan, Lauren McCain, Daniel O’Neil, Juan Ortiz, Minal Panchal, Erin Peterson, Michael Pohle Jr, Julia Pryde, Mary Karen Read, Reema Samaha, Waleed Shaalan, Leslie Sherman, Maxine Turner, and Nicole White, all of whom were killed in class that day, and whose stories ended too quickly and may never be told. Yet, we remember.