In Remembrance

14 years ago today, 32 VT students and professors were senselessly taken from the Hokie family by a crazed lunatic. This is to always remember them so that we never forget. For me, this is especially emotional as yesterday was the 32 year "anniversary" where 95 (eventually 96) Liverpool supporters lost their lives in the Hillsborough disaster.

We will never forget you

DISCLAIMER: Forum topics may not have been written or edited by The Key Play staff.


neVer forgeT

For regular life, 14 years ago seems so far away... But with things like this, it seems like yesterday. I still remember where I was when I heard the horrible news. I remember being worried about my friends who were still in Blacksburg. I remember the sickening feeling I got when HokieEnginerd told me that he had classes in that building and that he sold shirts outside where that shaky cell phone video was shot (and by April 2007, he had been out of Blacksburg for just over 2 years and we had been married for almost 2 years--it still hits you that it could have been him)...These things stay with you always.

neVer forgeT those 32
We are all Hokies no matter what our diplomas say.

2 time Longwood grad married to a Hokie.

I won't forget and will always remember quiet discussions with Prof. Loganathan. He was a great and patient teacher who always had time for his students.


Old sigline: I've been cutting back on the drinking.

New Sigline: lol it's football season.

Yup, one of the best professors I had

I was thinking about him this morning as well. I still laugh about the meticulous chalkboard erasing before each class.

I feel like I post this on some platform or another every April 16, so forgive me if you've read this before...

I was in my second or maybe 3rd senior year, but I was finally finishing up this time! The week prior to 4/16 was wrapping up just like any other week had for me, Friday, 4/13, I finished up with classes, went over to a buddies place to do a power hour to get ready for a night DT with some friends...few minutes after we finish the power hour, my roommate calls me, tells me my mom is at our townhouse. This would be particularly odd for her to show up unannounced, as my parents live about 5 hours away from Blacksburg,

My mom drove up because early that morning, my grandmother died. My grandmother had a huge part in raising me, as she lived with me and my parents and watched me after school while my parents worked. We were very close. My mother got in the car and drove all that way so she could tell me the news in person, and be the shoulder she knew I was going to need to cry on.

After she was confident that I was going to be okay for the night, she found a hotel room, then the next morning, I followed her back to Chesapeake. We had the viewing and small service for my grandmother on Sunday. It was an excruciating day. Then Monday morning, I got up and started loading my truck to make the long quiet trek back to Blacksburg alone. As I finished loading up was when news started to break. Between this happening and just having said my final goodbyes to my grandmother, I felt like the world I knew was crumbling in a way, nothing would ever be the same.

After staring at the TV in shock for longer than I should have, and despite my parents begging me to stay home for a few more days, I decided I needed to get back. My friends and Hokie family were hurting and I needed to be there with them. I wouldn't have been anywhere near Norris that morning, but I knew people who were, and I needed to make sure they were okay. Most of them were. Two of them weren't.

My mom likes to say that my grandmother was watching out for me, even in her death, by keeping me away from VT that morning. I just think of this as the 14th anniversary of the worst 4 days of my life.

Now finish up them taters; I'm gonna go fondle my sweaters.

Man 757,

That is HEAVY. I cant help but feel you. My story pales, briefly: Freshman year, morning classes inexplicably cancelled (well before any of the events occurred) - "sick! sleep in and video games with the roomies" until we started hearing the news creep in, which even being so close seemed to do so excruciatingly slow.

I've heard a lot of stories, differing in the catalyst, but consistent in that there was a "weird" circumstance that kept someone away that dreadful morning. I'm ALWAYS happy to hear those types of stories, and at the same time they trigger an intense survivors guilt wishing; that more people could have been that fortunate.

I am sorry to hear about your grandmother's passing, but I do agree with your Mother - Grandma was absolutely taking care of you (at least) one more time.

I'm still figuring this out.

I choose to focus not on the lives lost- though those were horrifyingly and senselessly tragic- but on the many acts of heroism by students, faculty and police hat saved many others from sharing that fate-folks like Liviu Librescu who saved many of his students before being killed by blocking the door with his body while his students jumped from the window; Emily Haas who after being shot and wounded maintained an open line to 911 so information as to ongoing actions by the shooter could be passed on to police on scene; and the swift response by both VT and Blacksburg police who were on scene with three minutes of receiving the 911 call and twelve members of whom quickly employed active-shooter protocols and entered the building via a maintenance door by shooting the lock off after trying the maim entrances which the shooter had chained shut.

Despite the horrific aspects of the shootings , there were many acts of incredible bravery and selfless acts that prevented an even greater tragedy from occurring ( the shooter only used half the ammunition he had carried in with him.)

Though I had long ago graduated from VT in 1988, I had had several classes in that building and as others mention remember exactly where I was when the news was becoming known. I had visited the doctor at 930M and stopped by McDonalds afterward as the news appeared on CNN and the number of victims went from 2 to 10 to 20 to 32. It was a numbing experience as the rest of the day unfolded and details came out. Perhaps the most chilling scene were the hundreds of backpacks strewn around the building as students fled for their lives- cell phones still ringing as friends and family tried to reach their loved ones to ascertain whether they were safe or not. It was reminiscent of Ground Zero after the 911 attacks with the firemen's emergency locators beeping from the wreckage.

Yet despite all the horror, let us also remember how the VT community , the entire collegiate community across the country and indeed much of the world came together to support those grieving and how we moved forward from that moment stronger than ever. In the immortal words of Nicky Giovanni the next day :

We are the Hokies.
We will prevail.
We will prevail.
We will prevail.
We ARE Virginia Tech

From the 2018 VT-uva game-"This is when LEGENDS are made!"

Tough day for all of us Hokies. That day I was working as a manager at the salem Walmart but still living in foxridge and my sister and then girlfriend were still students. When it all happened I couldn't get in touch with either of them. Turns out my sister was in lock down working at the ticket office and my girlfriend (was supposed to be in Norris hall) had overslept for her class. Norris hall was one of my friends from Giles County (narrows) that we had season tickets with and was literally speaking with my sister on AIM when all went quiet. His name was Jarret Lane and he was one of the 32 killed that day. At the time I didn't know of course and my store manager sent me home back to Blacksburg. I finally got to see my sister and girlfriend and we sat in foxridge and watched the news. None of us at the time thought jarret wouldn't have got out...hell of an athlete...around 7pm my sisters phone rang and she lost it...just lost it. He was one of the 32 and guys I've never had that feeling before or since of just...just complete sorrow/loss/helplessness. Hell I cried for a day it feels like...he was graduating and heading to Florida to get his Marine biology degree. We had a get together/party/celebration of him at his apartment the next week with his roommates, friends and family and they had his graduation cap and gown laid out on his bed. The guy had worked so hard and done everything right to come from a small town and do what he was going to do as well as the other 31 m...and just to see it ripped away is still heart wrenching to this day. Maybe it's weird but I haven't been the same since that day...nothing surprises me anymore, I almost feel desensitized to a point. God bless all involved and all Hokies....never forget😔😔😢