A Tribute to Virginia Tech


Last night my wife and I attended the symphony. The orchestra opened with a piece called Fratres by Arvo Part. Now, I am usually not one for sentimentality – but sometimes, music can explain things and feelings that words just cannot. As I listened, the strings seemed to weep and cry out in sorrow. I couldn’t help thinking of the families of the people who lost their lives the other day in the tragedy at Virginia Tech. I cannot imagine the utter agony of a parent having to bury their child, a brother loosing a sister, or a friend loosing a friend.

I feel like, as Americans, we aren’t really comfortable with grieving. We seem to want an explanation for what happened, a few days of sadness – and then we want to get better and move on. This just is not how things are.

Today at noon there is supposed to be a moment of silence in remembrance of those who were killed. I having included a version of Fratres here and I encourage everyone to take some time to listen to it and perhaps pray for the families involved. Perhaps this piece of music can help us understand, even share, the grief that those families are feeling. It starts with a few seconds of silence and is about ten minutes in length.

Virginia Tech

Waleed Shaalan, 32, an Egyptian national, a doctoral student in engineering.

Austin Cloyd, Blacksburg, freshman, International Studies and French

Nicole White, Carrollton, Va., Junior, International Studies and German

Lauren McCain, Hampton, Va., freshman, International Studies

Erin Peterson, 18, of Centreville

Brian Bluhm, Cedar Rapids, grad student in civil engineering

Mike Pohle, Flemington, N.J.

Partahi Lombantoruan of Indonesia, civil engineering doctoral student

Minal Panchal of Mumbai, India

Caitlin Hammaren, Westtown, N.Y., sophomore, International Studies and French

Matthew Gregory Gwaltney, Chester, Va., grad student

Jeremy Herbstritt, Spring Township, Pa., Civil engineering grad student

Rachael Elizabeth Hill, Richmond, freshman

Ross Abdallah Alameddine, Saugus, Mass., sophomore, English

Mary Karen Read, Annandale, Va., freshman

Leslie Sherman, Springfield, Va., junior, History

Christopher James Bishop, 35-year-old German professor (Packett/Woody)

Daniel O’Neil; Lincoln, Rhode Island

Henry LeeLy; Roanoke, Va.; Freshman, Computer Engineering

Matt La Porte; Dumont, N.J.; Freshman, University Studies

G.V. Loganathan; Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering

Jarrett Lane; Narrows, Va.; Senior, Civil Engineering

Liviu Librescu; Professor, Engineering Science & Mechanics

Kevin Granata; Professor, Engineering Science & Mechanics

Reema Samaha; Centreville, Va.; Freshman

Juan Ramon Ortiz Ortiz, Bayamon, Puerto Rico, graduate student, Civil Engineering

Daniel Perez Cueva, Woodbridge; international studies

Julia Pryde, student from Middleton, N.J.

Jocelyne Couture-Nowak, assistant professor of French at Virginia Tech.

Maxine Turner; Vienna, Va.; Senior, Chemical Engineering

Ryan C. Clark, Martinez, Georgia; senior, Biology, English, Psychology

Emily Jane Hilscher, Woodville, Va.; freshman, Animal and Poultry Sciences, Equine Science


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