Monday, April 30, 2007

Day of silence?

Today, many genealogy bloggers are observing a day of silence for the victims of the Virginia Tech shootings and their families. I've never liked "moments of silence." Since they're not my style, instead of silence, I thought I'd repost something from my personal blog.

I grew up in Northern Virginia, in Fairfax County, about a fifteen minute drive (in traffic) from where the killer grew up in Centerville. I went to a science and technology high school in Alexandria, from which a significant number of the graduates go on to attend Virginia Tech. I've been on the Virginia Tech campus several times. I've been in West AJ and I think also in Norris Hall. All of my high school friends went to college at Virginia Tech, only I didn't have the grades to get in.

I went to high school with a guy named Luke. We rode the bus together (and believe me, it was a long bus ride from Oakton to Alexandria and back during rush hour). At fourteen, I went on my first date with him. At my sixteenth birthday party, he gave me my first kiss. If we hadn't gotten in an argument shortly beforehand, we would have gone to prom together senior year. He's the guy I went clubbing with in Adams Morgen on Thanksgiving breaks home from college. He's the guy who once talked me into taking a drag off a cigarette. He's the guy I rang in 1999 with at one of those fancy schmancy D.C. New Years Eve parties. He was the first friend who came to visit after my dad passed away in 2001. He's the guy I'd always run into shopping at Target on those few occasions when I was out wearing sweatpants and no make up (you girls know what I'm talking about).

And if he hadn't been in Lynchburg taking the MCATs on Monday, April 16, he would have been in Jocelyn Couture-Nowak's French class in Room 211 of Norris Hall when Cho Seung-Hui entered the room and opened fire, killing Professor Couture-Nowak and half his fellow French students, leaving only one woman uninjured. He spoke to the Boston Herald about losing a very good friend:

In an exclusive interview with the Herald, a devastated Virginia Tech student yesterday told of how he miraculously missed the French-class massacre that tragically took the life of his best friend and seatmate, Saugus sophomore Ross Alameddine... (read more)


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4 comments:

Lee 5/02/2007 7:31 PM  

I think those of us bloggers who chose to observe a day of silence did so because we wanted to show that we did notice, and that we do care, but the right words escape us. On the other hand, people like yourself chose to share your feelings, and words from your heart. In my opinion, either way works.

BTW, I really enjoy your blog.

Christina 5/02/2007 9:48 PM  

Thanks for reading, Lee.

I understand that some people don't have the words. I was just saying that I always felt uncomfortable with silent remembrance. I'm just one of those folks who likes to share the good times, the bad times, all my experiences, and, from reading the experiences of others, see a little of the world through their eyes.

Lee 5/02/2007 10:33 PM  

When you put it that way, I am a lot like you. Only in this case, I didn't have anything personal to share. I have heard many good things about Virginia Tech since the tragedy but it barely registered on my radar prior to that. I can't even be sure I was aware of it all. I am probably in the minority though, because in my real life I am very reclusive.

Christina 5/03/2007 7:42 AM  

I think people's prior awareness of the school depended a great deal on where you lived and what field you were in. I grew up in Virginia and studied science, so I was very aware of it.

It was always one of my "what if" places. What if I hadn't screwed around in high school and had gotten in there and attended with all my friends? Although I'm still in touch and still friends with many of them, I've seen the bond they share through being "Hokies" (there really is something special between the students, the media is not making it up, I have never seen the same kind of bond between students at other schools). So, I was always a little jealous that I didn't share that with them - but I am happy with the way my life has turned out and in the end I wouldn't change anything.

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