Vigil pays respect to Virginia Tech victims and families

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Vigil pays respect to Virginia Tech victims and families

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By: Laura Fong | Freelance reporter |
Issue date: 4/25/07 Section: News

In honor of the 33 lives lost during the Virginia Tech shooting on April 16, University students and community members held a candlelight vigil in the Erb Memorial Union Amphitheater on Monday night.

Tea lights dotted the photographs of the 33 victims that lined the bottom step of the amphitheater. Attendees quietly lit candles and wrote their thoughts to the victims' friends and families on white pieces of paper that would later be sent to Virginia Tech.

University junior and family and human services major Jory Card organized the event through a Facebook group commemorating the victims of last week's shooting.

"These people are just like us - they could be your friends, your family," Card said to the crowd of about 60 attendees. "This is a time to be quiet with your friends and honor those who were lost."


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<a href="http://media.www.dailyemerald.com/media/storage/paper859/news/2007/04/24/Video/Video.Campus.Mourns.Virginia.Tech-2876566.shtml">Watch video from the vigil</a>

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University senior and journalism major Meghan Hilliard heard out about the event from Card, who is her roommate. Hilliard said she had a "reality check" when Card brought home the stack of 33 photographs of the victims later used for the vigil.

"The fact that the pictures take up the whole first row of our EMU amphitheater, I think is astounding," Hilliard said. "It&#39;s a real eye-opening visual because we hear of the 33 victims, but to see them is really impacting."

Lane Community College freshman Elizabeth Ashworth said she came to the vigil to pay respect to the Virginia Tech students and faculty.

"I realize how short life is and that it can be taken away, just like these people here," Ashworth said.

Ashworth heard about the vigil from her friend Megan Funke, a University freshman and psychology major, who also emphasized the importance of paying her respects to those affected by the shooting.

"If my friends were gone like this tomorrow, I don&#39;t know what I would do; it&#39;s such a huge tragedy." Funke said. "There are a lot of people whose lives (the victims) did affect, and I don&#39;t think that should be forgotten just because we&#39;re far away. "

Hilliard agreed that the far distance from Virginia Tech is unimportant, and that unfortunate events like the Virginia Tech shooting unite students across the country.

"In situations like this, campuses unite as one; campus lines are blurred since we&#39;re all going to school," Hilliard said. "This happened about 3,000 miles away, but it&#39;s still pertinent here and everywhere else."

Card said he wanted to bring students together one week after the shooting to remind them that they have "the ultimate say in our campus&#39; safety."

"I want to honor the victims and spark a change on campus to bring us together," Card said. "I&#39;d like to re-evaluate the true meaning of having a safe campus."

Card said that "safety" should extend further than "physical safety." People should also be respectful of those who have different opinions and backgrounds.

He asked the attendees: "How many times have you seen someone on 13th Avenue that you recognize and just ignore? I&#39;m guilty of it too. My challenge to you is to find a way to bring us together as a campus."

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Photo by:Amber Mees

Original Source: Daily Emerald
<a href="http://media.www.dailyemerald.com/media/storage/paper859/news/2007/04/25/News/Vigil.Pays.Respect.To.Virginia.Tech.Victims.And.Families-2879322.shtml">http://media.www.dailyemerald.com/media/storage/paper859/news/2007/04/25/News/Vigil.Pays.Respect.To.Virginia.Tech.Victims.And.Families-2879322.shtml</a>
<a href="http://media.www.dailyemerald.com/media/storage/paper859/news/2007/04/25/News/Vigil.Pays.Respect.To.Virginia.Tech.Victims.And.Families-2879322-page2.shtml">http://media.www.dailyemerald.com/media/storage/paper859/news/2007/04/25/News/Vigil.Pays.Respect.To.Virginia.Tech.Victims.And.Families-2879322-page2.shtml</a>

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Laura Fong (Author)/Amber Mees (Photo)

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2008-02-19

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Kacey Beddoes

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Judy Riedl <jriedl@uoregon.edu>

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eng

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Laura Fong (Author)/Amber Mees (Photo), "Vigil pays respect to Virginia Tech victims and families," in The April 16 Archive, Item #1734, http://april16archive.org/items/show/1734 (accessed August 29, 2014).