Archive | Tragedy

5th Year of Remembrance: I Ran for All 32 | The 3.2 Run in Remembrance

Balloons released before the 3.2 Run for Remembrance

Wow.  Five years?  Has it really been five years since that day that changed every Hokie’s life.  That day that brought heartache and tragedy into countless families, not just of the 32 killed but those injured that had to put their lives back together with emotional and physical scars.

That day that to me was almost as profound and as devastating as 9/11.  That day that shook my Hokie pride and for a few moments, made me shameful of being a Hokie.

But from that, that day brought us all together, and instead of dividing us, made us even stronger as a family and as Hokie Nation.  From those few moments of shame came an even stronger love and pride in my alma mater.

But most of all THIS day for me is about reflecting on the lives that were taken, and those that were injured.  Hokies who lost their life for no other reason that sitting in their dorm, or going to their class, or going to work.

Liviu Librescu's Hokiestone at the Memorial

THIS day is about the heroes like Liviu Librescu, who barricaded the door with his body so his students could escape out the window.  He took five bullets before a fatal shot took his life.  All but one of his students escaped.

THIS day is about reflection on how in many ways time has stood still.  It doesn’t feel like five years ago to me.  The pain I feel for those 32 victims, and the frustrations I feel about ‘why did this happen’ are still as fresh as they were five years ago.

THIS day is about me doing what I’ve done every Day of Remembrance — taking the day off work, reading the bio of each victim to learn about them, and thinking of them.  And each year I decide I’ll do something to honor them and their lives.


Niemo at the Finish Line of the 3.2 Run for Remembrance

This past Saturday I, along with almost 7,000 other Hokies and friends and family, participated in the 3.2 Run for Remembrance.  Each year it brings thousands of Hokies to campus to run for the fallen.  To remember, and to inspire.

I’ll admit it, I’m not in the best shape.  My training routine in the weeks leading up consisted of quarter mile jogs while coaching my baseball team.  I hadn’t run more than a half mile consecutively in probably a year.  But I ran for 32 on Saturday, all 32.  And outside of a brief logjam at Lane Stadium while walking through the tunnel onto the football field, I jogged the entire way, and ran the entire last mile and a half.  That may not mean much to those of you that run regularly, but it meant a lot to me.  I wanted to quit on many occasions, but pushed through.  It is extremely trivial, but in my mind finishing that race was my way of honoring the victims.  I was pushing myself, relishing the life I am blessed to have.

The Memorial in front of Burruss Hall

I hope to do more to honor those 32 Hokies taken from us in the future.  Something meaningful.  But a journey of a thousands miles begins with one step, and that was mine.  Let’s all reflect today on those that were taken from us, and find the drive to do something meaningful, if not for them, or something else, for yourself.

I’m a Hokie, and I’m damn proud of it.  WE ARE VIRGINIA TECH.  WE WILL PREVAIL.  Bless all 32.  I’ll never forget you, we’ll never forget you.

VT We Remember Link


Interesting Note: According to Jay Poole (ran the Office of Recovery and Support at VT) in this WASHINGTON POST ARTICLE, all 26 surviving students who were injured in Norris Hall returned to Virginia Tech and all graduated.

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We Remember: Thoughts and Prayers

It is hard to believe it has been three years.  It is hard to believe so much time has passed since one of the worst days of our lives.  Yet, the memory of it is still vivid.  I still cannot walk by the Hokiestones in front of Burruss without getting emotional, sad for the 32 people that had their life taken away from them three years ago for doing nothing more than going to class or being in their dorm.

The media has forgotten, I couldn’t find a single mention of this tragic anniversary today on the various networks.  But I remember.  I know you remember.  And today we reflect on this sadness that still stings so sharply.  Hopefully it inspires me, inspires you, to do something more this year.  To be thankful for the life you still have and to do something with it.  But today is about those that didn’t make it, and our prayers and thoughts are with them and their family.  We remember.  We are Virginia Tech.

VT Site

Our Reflection

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April 16th | One Year Later

Months ago I decided to take today off from work, similar to what I did one year after the attacks of 9/11, for personal reflection on an event that touched me deeply. Like with the Virginia Tech shootings, 9/11 impacted me indirectly, but very profoundly. I worked and lived a mile from the Pentagon. I saw the smoke rising off the Pentagon from where the plane had hit it that morning. I walked from my apartment later that day and saw the hole. All of those images made it extremely “real” to me.

Last year on this day, I was returning from a friend’s wedding in St. Louis. A trip of such happiness quickly turned to bitter sadness. Before heading into work, I started getting flooded with texts to check out the news. I began watching, and sat there stunned as the newscasts kept raising the death toll to unfathomable numbers.

In the days following, I struggled with my own grief. Why did this event make me so sad? I had long since graduated from Virginia Tech. Though I had friends that were neighbors of some of the victim’s families, and others that were taught by professors lost in the shootings, I had no connection to any of the victims or families. I almost felt guilty for being down in the dumps, when I couldn’t even imagine the pain the victims’ friends and families were feeling.

Then, it hit me. I realized how deep and strong my love for Virginia Tech was. It dawned on me why this event hurt so much. Virginia Tech, and all who have attended or worked there, are family. They are my brothers and sisters. It occurred to me that the pain I felt so deeply was because I truly felt like I had lost 32 siblings in those shootings. Though I will never know the excruciating sting this tragedy had on the blood-relation families or direct friends of these victims, I now have a better understanding of how deeply my fondness of Virginia Tech runs.

In the year since, my bond with VT has only grown stronger. That is due in part to my realization of my feelings. But more so, it has to do with the way the Virginia Tech community has reacted. Instead of being torn apart, Hokies have bonded together more tightly than ever. We have not let this define us, instead, it has driven us to do more. I only hope we can represent those who were lost proudly. And the outpouring of support from other communities all over the world has touched me and strengthened my belief in the human spirit.

Upon waking this morning, after realizing the news outlets were barely covering today’s events at VT, at least in the morning hours, I decided to read the biography of each victim on VT’s web site (Victims’ Biographies). It was extremely sad to read about the accomplishments, hopes, and dreams of each person. It was sad to see what might have been, and know it would never be.

One thing stood out in particular. It was in the biography of Mike Pohle, Jr. Mike struggled with a speech development issue early on in life, leading to teasings from other kids. As a result, Mike appreciated the struggles of others. “Based on his own experiences and even with his athletic success, Mike befriended those who felt they did not fit in or who were lost in the crowd with no one to turn to. It was instinctive for Mike to help; it was his calling,” stated his biography.

I only wish Mike had met Cho before that fateful day. Maybe, with such a wonderful person as a friend, this tragedy that still saddens all Hokies would never have happened. Going forward, if we all reach out to someone in need, the outcasts or “lepers” of society and show them the same courtesy we show everyone else, instead of fearing them and further isolating them, we can avert a similar situation, or at least make their blue days a little brighter. I know I could improve in this area.

To the 32 victims, here’s thinking of you. You are not forgotten, and never will be. You will always be an inspiration to me to enjoy life and to do more.

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Thoughts and Prayers

This is a re-post of the Tribute Desktop created by our own 8ball last year to honor the victims of April 16th. We are still thinking of all of you and pray for your families.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the 32 innocent Hokies that lost their lives, their families and friends, those injured, the friends and families of those injured, those yet to contact their student or loved one, and the entire Hokie nation. Today is a day we will never forget, and it will take a long time to even begin to start healing. Our beloved university will never be the same. God bless each person affected today. May your family and friends find the strength to cope with this horrible tragedy.

–The Team at


Tribute Desktop by 8ball:

We Will Never Forget
We are Virginia Tech
Download | 800×600 | 1024×768
Letter (8.5 x 11; 144 dpi) | Tabloid (11 x 17; 144 dpi)


Visit for the latest updates on the tragedy.

We will resume posting basketball content on Monday, April 23.


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We Will Prevail … We Are Virginia Tech

This is a re-post of our article that captured some of the various images and words following the tragedy of last April 16th. has not forgotten any of the 32 victims from last year and never will. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of the impacted families this week especially, but really every day. Not a day goes by that we don’t think of those that lost their lives, so full of hope and promise, way too early. We miss you.

We at want to post some of the inspiring images and words to help the Hokie community cope with this tragedy. If you have any to share, please leave us a comment.

Nikki Giovanni at the Convocation:

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Thank You, Yankees | NYY 11, VT 0

Regardless of what you think of George Steinbrenner and the New York Yankees, their decision to donate $1,000,000 to the Hokie Memorial Fund and come play an exhibition game at English Field in Blacksburg, VA is one of the classiest moves ever. The Yankees have to be considered one of the two most famous sports teams in the USA along with the Dallas Cowboys. They could have stopped with the donation, which was impressive enough in its own right. They could have stopped at wearing VT logos on their hats in a regular season game against the red sox. But they didn’t. They came to Blacksburg.

Hard to believe it, but Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez were at Virginia Tech today. Jorge Posada and Jason Giambi also played. Most of the starters went three innings and two at-bats. Manager Joe Girardi hung out in the stands with Frank Beamer. The team toured the memorial dedicated to the victims over by Burruss Hall. At one point during the game, A-Rod hung out in the VT dugout. Everyone associated with the Yankees said they were honored to be there, but I think the honor was all ours.

While visiting the memorial, Alex Rodriguez was quoted as saying, “There are certain things that happen that are so devastating that time stops,” he said. “For me, this is one of them. This is probably the proudest day I’ve ever (had) to wear a Yankee uniform.”

During the game, Yankees play-by-play announcer Michael Kay mentioned to President Steger that he thought they could have gotten double the attendance of 5,000. Steger, and I, sort of laughed that off and said he thought they could have filled the football stadium. I certainly think this game could have drawn 66,000 at Lane, especially if on a weekend.

Thank you again, Yankees.

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Coping with the Massacre

It has been more than a day now since my Mom called me and told me that this was not a minor shooting, but that the police had announced more than 20 individuals were dead. It has been more than 24 hours, yet I still cannot believe it. I am still struggling to cope with this news, an event that occured at a place I love so much and hold so dear to heart. I am “in a fog” as I have been telling people.

I will write in this article what has gone through my head over the past day. Therapy, to a degree, and also to help others understand why this event has impacted my Hokie brothers and sisters and me so much.

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Coach Greenberg’s Thoughts…

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