I can only say the title is That Day


I can only say the title is That Day


I have a daughter who on April 16 was freshman at Virginia Tech and she was safely in her dorm when the terrible events at A-J and Norris Hall took place.

She had been on the road Sunday night and I called her to check up on her.

Even though I had been on the phone with my daughter as early as 9:50 am (before we both knew what was going on, she has a noon class on Mondays and was just waking up for the day) and knew she was safe in her dorm, the entire day was difficult for me because of all the uncertainty of events. During the rest of the morning, she kept me posted by email and once text messaged her and said "stay away from the windows!" ...but I still felt quite helpless and upset that I could not be there to protect my daughter.

The Internet was my main source for information as it filtered the news through bit by bit. I wanted to know more and to know faster, I called WTOP radio station and asked them, they said they have a person on the way down.

As far as I knew, maybe they arrested the gunman, but maybe there was a gunman lose somewhere on the campus, how long would it be before they solve this and find the person, or PERSONS? Then more reports came out, "there are multiple casualties." I was thinking, what is this? What is going on? How could this be, are things under control? I jumped to the websites of the Roanoke TV stations and the Ronaoke newspaper, wanting the answers to my question. Then I walked over to my company's corporate department and asked them to turn on their TV because something is going on at Virginia Tech.

Still, news was only trickling out. Then the numbers were announced, first 21, then more and by the end of the day 32 plus the gunman. My daughter left that evening for home, but I would not see her until Thursday evening because of my business travels and was working in metro DC away from home.

On Thursday morning I remember seeing a flag at half-mask. I had a few tears and thought, it's sinking in. When I finally got home to my front door that evening, all was okay until I opened the door and saw my daughter sitting on the couch, between the door and her I became a basket case. She looked at me and asked "what's wrong dad?" I said "Nothing, I'm happy" and gave her one big and long hug I will never ever forget.

It is painful to think that other dads can no longer hug their daughters or sons. My prayers go out to each one and to their families. Some day God will wipe away our tears, but until that day, let us never forget.


Shelton Cartwright Jr




Shelton Cartwright Jr




Shelton Cartwright Jr, “I can only say the title is That Day,” The April 16 Archive, accessed July 25, 2024, https://april16archive.org/items/show/94.