Remembering Virginia Tech tragedy 8 years later

VT ribbonBy Lynn R. Mitchell

Eight years ago today tragedy struck the campus of Virginia Tech when 23-year-old Seung-Hui Cho went on a shooting rampage and killed 32 people. It was the worst college tragedy in America. Every year since, the governor of Virginia has recognized Virginia Tech Remembrance Day as a way to remember and honor the victims who perished on that spring day in 2007.

The Victims:
West Ambler Johnston Hall (dorm)

Ryan Clark, 22, Martinez, Georgia
– Senior, English and Biology
– Resident Assistant on campus, also in the Marching Virginians college band.
– Known as “the Stack” to friends.

Emily Jane Hilscher, 19, Woodville, Virginia
– Freshman, Animal and Poultry Sciences, Equine Science

Norris Hall (dept. bldg/classrooms)

Ross Alameddine, 20, Saugus, Massachusetts

– Sophomore, English
– Died in a French class

Dr. Christopher “Jamie” Bishop, 35, Pine Mountain, Georgia
– Instructor, Foreign Languages and Literatures (German)

Brian Bluhm, 25, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
– Graduate Student, Civil Engineering

Austin Cloyd (female), 18, Blacksburg, Virginia
– Freshman, International Studies and French

Jocelyn Couture-Nowak, 49, born in Montreal, Canada
– Instructor, French

Daniel Alejandro Perez Cueva, 21, Woodbridge, Virginia, originally from Peru
– Junior, International Studies
– Killed in French class

Dr. Kevin Granata, 46, Toledo, Ohio
– Professor, Engineering Science & Mechanics
– Head of the Engineering Science and Mechanics Department

Matt Gwaltney, 24, Chesterfield, Virginia
– Graduate Student, Civil and Environmental Engineering

Caitlin Hammaren, 19, Westtown, New York
– Sophomore, International Studies and French

Jeremy Herbstritt, 27, Bellefonte, Pennsylvania
– Graduate student, Civil Engineering

Rachael Hill, 18, Richmond, Virginia
– Freshman, Biology

Jarrett Lane, 22, Narrows, Virginia
– Senior, Civil Engineering

Matt La Porte, 20, Dumont, New Jersey
– Political Science and French

Henry Lee, 20, Roanoke, Virginia
– Freshman, Computer Engineering

Dr. Liviu Librescu, 75, from Romania
– Professor, Engineering Science and Mechanics
– A Romanian Holocaust survivor

Dr. G V Loganathan, 51, born in Chennai, India
– Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering.
– Had been at VA Tech since 1982.

Partahi Mamora Halomoan Lumbantoruan, 34, Indonesia
– Doctoral student in civil engineering.

Lauren McCain, 20, Hampton, Virginia
– International Studies

Daniel O’Neil, 22, Lafayette, Rhode Island
– Grad student in civil engineering.

Juan Ramon Ortiz, 26, Bayamon, Puerto Rico
– Grad student in civil engineering

Minal Panchal (female), 26, Mumbai, India.
– Grad student in architecture

Erin Peterson, 18, Centreville, Virginia
– Died in a French class.

Michael Pohle, 23, Flemington, New Jersey
– Senior, Biological Sciences

Julia Pryde, 23, Middletown, New Jersey
– Biological Systems Engineering

Mary Karen Read, 19, Annandale, Virginia
– Freshman, Interdisciplinary Studies and Elementary Education

Reema Joseph Samaha, 18, Centreville, Virginia
– Freshman, studying urban planning with a minor in international relations
– Went to the same high school as Cho

Waleed Mohammed Shaalan, 32, Zagazig, Egypt
– Doctoral student in civil engineering.

Leslie G. Sherman (female), 20, Springfield, Virginia
– Sophomore, History and International Studies

Maxine Turner, 22, Vienna, Virginia
– Senior, Chemical Engineering

Nicole Regina White, 20, Carrollton, Virginia
– Junior, International Studies and German.


WHEREAS, on the morning of April 16, 2007, a senseless and incomprehensible tragedy struck the campus of Virginia Tech; and

WHEREAS, the lives of 32 members of the Virginia Tech community were stolen without warning, creating voids in the hearts and minds of friends and family who feel their absence to this day; and

WHEREAS, we recognize and thank local, state, and federal first responders who courageously answered the call of duty in an effort to prevent further loss of life, and who continued to care for the Blacksburg community in the aftermath; and

WHEREAS, the Virginia Center for School and Campus Safety continues to review and strengthen security practices in all of Virginia’s educational institutions and on all campuses, building upon the good work that has been done in the Commonwealth to prevent future tragedies; and

WHEREAS, in honor of all those killed or injured on April 16, 2007, we will never forget their memory and we commit ourselves to doing all we can to protect our children, educators, and schools, and to keep all Virginia communities safe; and

WHEREAS, the Blacksburg community, and the entire Commonwealth join with those from across the country and around the world in their thoughts and prayers to remember and honor the cherished memories and heroism of those who lost their lives and those who were wounded eight years ago;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Terence R. McAuliffe, do hereby recognize April 16, 2015, as VIRGINIA TECH REMEMBRANCE DAY in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.


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