Tuesday, April 17, 2007


The words CNN is using to describe yesterday’s horrific events – the Virginia Tech Massacre – turn the stomach. Like everyone, we are shocked, saddened, horrified…pick the words, they all apply. None really help. Here are a few points to ponder:

At today’s convocation, the Virginia Tech students gave beleaguered president Charles Steger a standing ovation. We don’t much care for the term “classy.” There’s something about the word that seems to lack ...well, class. But there is no other way to describe it – that ovation may have been the classiest thing we’ve ever seen or heard. In a world hasty to criticize and rush to judgment, Steger’s core constituents – his students – are rallying to his support. While the trauma of the event is most severe for the family members of the victims, the burden Steger is bearing must be substantial. Like 911, he was confronted with a series of events that are easily categorized as “unimaginable,” and he, along with all of Hokie Nation, have since displayed extraordinary strength, composure and…class. Well done.

Secondly, kudos to the Montgomery Regional Hospital. Imagine, it’s your ordinary Monday and suddenly you are besieged with 17 victims with multiple gun shot wounds. Talk about your training paying off. Even though it is located near what the national media now refers to as “quiet, sleepy” Blacksburg, the staff of that hospital had a Code Green disaster plan that appears to have saved many many lives. Again, well done.

Third on the list – Nikki Giovanni. If you heard the author/poet’s closing remarks at the convocation today and you then heard the student’s response of Let’s Go Hokies, Let’s Go Hokies and you did not have tears in your eyes, there is something wrong with you. It was incredibly moving, even on the radio…

Finally, it seems unlikely but true, but no member of the Virginia Tech baseball or the men’s or women’s basketball teams currently wear the number 32. Only Rashad Carmichael, a red shirt freshmen cornerback from Clifton, MD, wears number 32 for the football Hokies. Hopefully, some incoming freshmen will not shy away from the now infamous number, and want to wear it as a tribute. Or better yet, some senior leader of each squad will change his/her number.

We pray that something happens soon that makes us laugh again. God bless Hokie Nation.

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