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.
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