A Heart At Half-Mast


In 1994, I was a scared, shy and wholly naive girl when I entered VA Tech as a freshman.  My parents dropped me off and then quickly departed to make the five hour journey home.  My years wandering through the castle like buildings would be spend learning more than just academics.  I grew into a young women, there.

Fell in love for the first time, had my heart broken, healed and broken again. I learned so much more than the texts I read held.  Six years later, I graduated with a BA in History with a Classical Studies Concentration. My degree means so much to me. It is proof that no matter what obstacle was put forward into my path did not stop me moving forward in my life.

Now for the second time since I have graduated I find my beloved  Alma mater is in the news for tragedy. Each time the shots that have rung out on campus they have found their way into my heart.  VA Tech like most colleges is more than just a school, it is a community and a family. A family that nurtured me, but never coddled me.  I learned some very hard lessons there and grew to be a better person because of them.

The news is reporting that the young man who killed a Tech police officer was just a typical college kid.  Since when does a typical college kid steal an SUV and shoot a police officer.  I don’t have all the details, but I know a good man died and thousands of people in the community that nurtured me are once again terrorized.  My family is once again mourning for the lost of one it’s own.

During my time at Tech, I met with the Chief of the VA Tech Police force. I remember the meeting well and the sincerity of the chief and his fellow officers to know more about the students they were there to protect.  They were the most receptive group of students I have ever had the privileges of instructing.  They were gracious and inquisitive.

I am sure that I never meet the officer who lost his life, but still my heart goes out to his family and my family at Tech.

There are many that will comment on the most recent happenings at Tech and make reference to the shootings of 2007.  Two young men who took the lives of innocent people going about their business. There will never be a reason that will makes sense.  No matter how much we find out about them.  The stain of their actions will haunt the grounds of Tech for the indefinite future.

My heart hangs at half mast.  I mourn the loss of a man I never knew because he was a part of that family that nurtured me; that has nurtured so many souls.

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