Classes are canceled for the day and everyone is encouraged to spend time with friends and family reflecting on the 32 lives cut short that day. I started off the morning participating in the 3.2 mile run for 32. They start off the run with a moment of silence and the release of 32 white balloons. Following the moment of silence, everyone else participating in the run releases their orange and maroon balloons and the run begins. It really is such a cool site but the whole time I kept thinking "Those balloons represent someone's wife, husband, son, daughter, brother, sister, friend, etc, I wish we could run for another reason, I wish we weren't here as a result of the tragedy."
(from last year's run)
One thing I have seen happen and appreciate, as a result of the tragedy, is an outpouring of support from the Virginia Tech community and beyond. I found this link (thanks [nlcf] downtown women) to Nikki Giovanni's inspirational address that was delivered the day after the tragedy in 2007 and it gives me chill bumps just reading it. I'm also reminded of the fact that "Everybody is a Hokie" today. I've been so encouraged by the multitude of Facebook statuses' I've seen reflecting just that. Here are just a few:
remembering 32 beautiful and vibrant Hokies today... give heaven a big Hokie Hi for us!
We are virginia tech! We have and will continue to prevail!!!
Proud to be a HOKIE. Never forget the 32.
"When others have moved on and life resumes its course, that for us, there is only one emotion left: Love. Love for this university, love for the people who died on April 16th, 2007, and love for those who are left behind."
Nic & I were talking this morning about how today is a reminder of James 4:14 that says "Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes." So right now I keep asking myself the question, what can I do to live life to the fullest everyday and honor God in everything I do? Because as I've seen I'm certainly not promised tomorrow.