We are Hokies

As most of you know, G and I are Hokies. We graduated in 2000 and, like most VT graduates, are very loyal to our alma mater.

As luck would have it, we were in Mallorca when we learned of Monday’s horrific events on the Virginia Tech campus. Hence, we had a TV and access to 24/7 news coverage of the event. It’s unimaginable that this type of event would occur in low-key, hospitable, and wholesome Blacksburg. We kept asking ourselves “Why Virginia Tech?”.

We watched, horrified, as international newcasters demonized Americans and the US political environment. We overheard conversations about the incident at the local cafe (uttered in German, Spanish and English). For the first and, perhaps, only time, our Virginia Tech was on the minds of the world. We were upset by the events, found it difficult to imagine what the families and victims were going through and found it impossible not to be defensive when others criticized at a time when our Hokies needed support.

We watched Tuesday’s memorial service and were moved by Nikki Giovanni’s closing remarks. We all needed her words. We are Virginia Tech.
After returning back to London today, we are still gripped by the events and unable to fathom what those in Blacksburg are going through. As we prepare for [and dread] the work and school week ahead, it’s difficult not to think of the dread that Hokies feel when faced with returning to campus tomorrow. But, we are also proud today. Rather than hanging our heads in embarrassment or shame, we are holding our heads high. Rather than blaming or making the incident overtly political, students and other Hokies kept focused on the incident and their need to heal. Our fellow Hokies stuck together and are lending their support and attention to those in need.

We returned to inboxes from our friends to ensure that our “Hokie family” is still intact. Messages for prayer requests. For strength. Thankful well wishes. Thank you for thinking of us, for your messages and for supporting VT when it needs it the most.

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