Yesterday's tragedy at Virginia Tech makes me feel sad for the people who lost members of their family and beyond. People who were present while their friends and teachers were being wounded and murdered now have to live with the trauma caused by the acts of one highly disturbed individual. Not that I don't feel bad for the families. Of course I do. But it's not just the families that suffer. Every time something terrible like this happens, any innocence associated with an institutution where a tragedy of this nature occurs is irrevocably lost.
People who thought that Virginia Tech was a safe place to work or attend classes or send their children to school will never think that again.
Jon and I first of heard about the shooting driving home from a weekend in South Jersey and I turned on 1010 WINS for a traffic report. It reminded me of when I was listening to a news report on NPR about a plane crashing into one of the towers at the World Trade Center. When I heard that news it didn't quite make sense. I understood the words the newscaster was speaking in his well modulated voice but didn't comprehend the magnitude of the tragedy until much, much later. And innocence was lost. Before that happened, it never occurred to many of us that anyone would hijack a plane and kill thousands of people in order to honor some suicide pact made in the name of God.
After watching the news last night and listening to the convocation this afternoon on the radio; after watching interviews with survivors of the gunman's rampage and hearing the speeches given by President Bush and religious leaders at the memorial service on the Virginia Tech campus it is only now that I comprehend the full extent of this tragedy. I'm sure no one expected the academic and hopeful environment of a place like a college campus to be disturbed by the actions of one destructive and suicidal individual.
To the people who lost those 32 family members, you have my deepest sympathy.