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)
- Vicky H.'s posts on the shootings (a high school friend, Va Tech graduate and Blacksburg resident)
- Stacy M.'s posts on the shootings (a high school friend, Va Tech graduate and current Va Tech grad student)
- More of my thoughts on the shootings and gun control
- An article from my high school newspaper: Jefferson Reaches Out To Support Virginia Tech
- And finally, The Washington Post coverage of the shootings.