What April 16, 2007 Means To Me


Good afternoon.  Hope you all are doing well. It’s hard for me to believe that it’s been six years since that fateful day when 32 students were tragically taken from the Virginia Tech community.

I still remember where I was that day – I was at work in Washington, DC. We had CNN on at work like we usually do – then someone mentioned to me that CNN was reporting from Blacksburg. And I asked him what it was about – he said he didn’t know – so I walked for the the TV myself. There were reports of gunshots. And I started thinking to myself, “Gun shots on campus?” Before you know it, there were reports of students who had their lives taken – and the number of fatalities kept going up. I felt this uncomfortable lump in my throat because I know that something bad was happening – and I had to leave work so I took vacation the rest of the day. You find our little town nestled in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains – and you ask yourself, how could this happen here? My uncle, the retired dean of the Virginia Tech College of Education, and aunt closed on their house in 1971 in Blacksburg. They raised three children in Blacksburg. Blacksburg is – and always will be a special place to me.

While they pain and the sadness will always be there – somehow, I knew that we, the Virginia Tech community, would emerge stronger than ever.  If you know of the Hokies community, it’s one of the tightest you’ll find on any campus in the United States (my friend @TalkinACCSports will tell you that for sure).

In the words of Nikki Giovanni:

We are the Hokies.

We will prevail.

We will prevail.

We will prevail.

We are Virginia Tech.

And that we did. I was not in Blacksburg on April 16, 2007 when the 32 lost their lives – but I care because I’m a Hokie. Hokies will always be there for each other. On this day, I urge you to live for 32.

1 comment

  1. Mary Beth says:

    Matthew I share your feelings. Our oldest daughter was there that day and lost 2 friends, our youngest is there now 🙂 We are a Hokie family and there is no other family like HokieNation. Cant really even type this because I get too upset. My youngest walked around the memorial and took pics of the hokie stones of her sisters friends and sent them to her today…I still feel lost on this day but wear my maroon and orange proudly and am forever thankful for the love we all share for each other 🙂 Im 1SportsGal on twitter and love your writing! Hope you have a blessed day and as always Go Hokies!

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