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April 16th

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I will always remember the day of April 16th, 2007. I will always remember going into the band room for lunch, only to see my student-teacher, Ms. Flahive, talking frantically into her cell phone. After a few minutes, it became evident who she was talking to; her sorority sisters in the house where she lived in at Virginia Tech.

Within seconds, all of Cave Spring High School had heard what had happened. And by that night, the whole world had heard of the massacre that had taken place at the Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg, Virginia. And that’s when the small towns that surrounded Blacksburg were put on the map. Suddenly, I was able to respond ’45 minutes from Virginia Tech’, when asked where I lived, and everyone knew where I lived.

But it was at school the next day, April 17th, 2007, that I realized the impact that the terrible act had had on my fellow classmates. My World History II teacher had graduated from VT only the year before. He still had friends there. My band director’s father-in-law worked there. Students had friends, older, of course, and siblings who went to school there. And even people who had no connection to the place, felt it. I had just moved to Virginia in June, 2006, but I still felt it. It was impossible not too.

But when I get to band that day, the worst new was yet to come. Ryan ‘Stack’ Clark, the young RN, had been our student-teachers best friend. He had been one of the first killed.

For the next days, the school mourned, wearing Hokie clothing. And at night, we would crowd around our home television sets, watching as our world became the topic of National news.

During 7th period on April 20th, 2007, the principal came on over the intercom. She read aloud the names of those killed and rang chimes for them. And even though my class didn’t make a sound, I knew that, somewhere in that school, someone was crying.

It’s been a year now, and no one has forgotten what happened. There have been controversies, debates, arguments, funerals, assemblies, memorials, and tears over the past year. But, for the rest of time, until this world ends, Virginians, former Virginians, VT students, alumni, and faculty-now and retired-, and a nation will stop at 12 ‘o clock on April 16th, and remember the fateful day imprinted in the minds of all Americans.

April 16th, 2007.





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