Skip to main content

There's no way to hide from it.

I was in my office when I first saw a "Breaking News" bit on the feed. A shooting at a housing unit on the Virginia Tech campus. The campus had already gone through a lock-down on the first day of classes that last fall, and it turned out to be because of a non-school incident. It didn't raise much of an alarm for me. Until about an hour later. That's when reports of shootings in classrooms started coming over the tubes. My daughter, Kate, was in classes...where? I called my wife to see if she'd heard from Kate. She hadn't, and didn't know that anything was happening in Blacksburg.

She was in her The Gospels as Literature class. Seung-Hui Cho was supposed to be in that class with her, but he wasn't there that morning. At 9:26, she got an e-mail message from the school administration about the housing unit shooting. At nearly the exact same time, her boyfriend, (now her husband), called her cell phone. He said to her, "There's a shooter in Norris Hall. Run"! She ran. When she got to her car in the Lane Stadium parking lot, she called me. There was nothing for her to say other than that she was safe. Then she started crying. She cried, and cried, and cried. And I cried with and for her.

With a growing sense of relief, I returned to my desk. The relief, however, turned to horror as the death count started to be reported. First two, then five, then eleven, thirteen, nineteen, twenty two, twenty five, twenty seven, thirty two...and Cho, himself.

That years graduation was held just a month later. Walking around the drill field, seeing tent upon tent of messeges from around the world offering words of grief, support and hope and love was nearly overwhelming. Attending the ceremonies, where posthumanous diplomas and class rings were presented to the families of those who were slain taught me the true meaning of strength and grace. The entire community rallied to embrace not only their tragedy, but also their accomplishments.

It's been seven years. Kate has told me that she still feels survivor's guilt, and she reflexively flinches when she encounters a young Asian male. Each April 16 I call her to tell her that I love her. "There's a shooter in Norris Hall. Run"! She ran. But we have learned as a father and a daughter that, like all of us, you can run, but you can't hide. It's been seven years, but I know that I'll cry, today.

Originally posted to nuthangerfarm on Wed Apr 16, 2014 at 08:22 AM PDT.

Also republished by Shut Down the NRA, Repeal or Amend the Second Amendment (RASA), Firearms Law and Policy, and Community Spotlight.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site