Student returned to classes today at Virginia Tech.
The day began with thousands of Virginia Tech students and faculty gathering on the campus Drillfield to pay their respects to the 32 victims of last week’s massacre. A magnificent 850-pound bell was rung 32 times and 32 white balloons were released to honor the victims.
Earlier in the day, students and faculty gathered at several spots for reflection and prayer.
At about 7:15 a.m. a gathering occurred near the dormitory where Emily Hilscher and Ryan Clark were killed. (Emily and Ryan were killed a week ago at 7:15 a.m. – they were the first victims.)
In front of the dorm, a small marching band from Alabama played “ America the Beautiful” and carried a banner that read, “ Alabama loves VT Hokies. Be strong, press on.”
Afterward, a group of students and campus ministers placed prayer flags in the school’s War Memorial Chapel.
Another moment of silence was held throughout the campus at 9:45 a.m. (the time when 30 students and faculty were killed in Norris Hall.)
The day was painful for everyone, but was another important step in the healing process.