Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Today We Are All Hokies?
The internet World Responds To A Tradgedy

As we all mourn the loss of 32 Virginia Tech students, it should come as no surprise that Americans--and particularly college students--have congregated on Facebook to grieve together. For many Virginia Tech students, this is where they go to mourn their friends: Facebook. Usually a massive digital yearbook, today it's a memorial site. Many memorial groups have made Facebook pages, including one entitled, "A tribute to those who passed at the Virginia Tech Shooting" jumping from 107,000 members to more than 123,908 members. Sometimes in all the hype about Web 2.0 and the technology and money behind it, it's easy to lose track of an important component of this brave new world--people.

Its easy to join in on the latest rant in our corner of the blogosphere. Its easy to be part of the angry mob. (I know its something I’ve been guilty of from time to time) I encourage you all, particularly in times like this, to take a step back and consider every perspective, and put together your posts and comments in as meaningful and constructive way as possible. It elevates the discourse in the blogosphere, and, if you want to be pragmatic, can potentially benefit to you as well.

Today Facebook reminds us of the power of social networking to bring us together. Much will be written on this blog and others about Facebook's role—a mix of mourning and newsgathering - in the aftermath of the tragic events of April 16, 2007 in Blacksburg, Va. But for now...

Today We Are All Hokies

(Highlights of the Memorial - Courtesy of Facebook)

My thoughts and prayers are with you all.
— Karen Johnson Apr 16, 06:05 PM

I join people of many faiths and backgrounds to pray for each of you in the days ahead.May your pain receed and your future brighten.
— Pastor Al Beck Apr 17, 11:05 AM

What to say that hasn’t already been said. My heart is so heavy to hear of such a loss of some of America’s finest and brightest. Please share their stories with the world. We all clamor to hear about these lost angels. Please tell of the lives of the lost. What will they be remembered for? How did they impact your lives? How will you remember them? We all want to hear. May God be with you now and always.
— C.H.Parker Apr 17, 07:29 PM

My condolences - To those left alone from this

hold life, please...lets take a recess - give some regrets
if i had 3 from a bottle, they’d be resets
9/11, katrina, take a deep breathe
pause for vtech

to die learning, is it history’s wish
food for the soul, an old dish
its an open wound, no stitch
the kid was so bright, stolen light
is this what its come to
proud parents, turned miserable couples
ran out the door, you wish he had hugged you
just know that eyes can send love too
and she dont know the trouble of being innocent
its hard but let her go, the gates open,
once she’s in she’s in, Heavens the final goal
i pray for every win
every daughter, every son, every father, every mom, everyone, um…
even him with the gun
...i pray…
— Anonymous Apr 17, 12:49 PM

Please let me offer my heartfelt condolences and prayers to all who are suffering as a result of this tragic act. I shed tears but I’m praying for you. But please let me speak – I wanted to respond to the hate mongers re Seung-Hui Cho: I was there at Columbine – during and after. There are no easy answers, as the families of Columbine can attest to. The families of the dead and injured became forever marked by children who were taunted and tormented by other children. The count of Columbine includes these children who committed these acts of insanity (to us – but reasonable and logical to them!) The families of these tormented killers became victims in Colorado – ostracized, hurt because they too lost their world. As Christians, we realize Cho is also a victim of his past which ruled his present. Cho’s acts are insane and nonsensical to us – reasonable and logical in his own tortured mind. Now his family and friends suffer, now victims as they have to try to live in their community seething with hate and sorrow. Everyone watching this sad turn of events—we are all victims in one way or another—again. And again we MUST understand that hate is not the answer. Do we now persecute every person of Asian descent along with Middle Easterners and —- you get the picture. With every school shooting – where school is a “sanctuary” for people of All Ages, All Faiths and Races and FACES – we suffer…we hurt…but EVERYONE suffers…hurts. Don’t hate—help…support…grieve…support…come together…don’t listen to those who perpetuate hate. Please… like she said – Scott – please…please…
— Dee Dee T. Apr 17, 11:49 PM


Why is the question that runs through my mind
As I try to make sense of a senseless crime
Too young to die too much to still do
Still question upon question inside of you

Perhaps the response wouldn’t be what we want to hear
There is no real answer for the craziness, I fear
We value life and find it hard to comprehend
Those who take it away like a game of pretend

You feel so helpless and empty inside
Watching the ones whose loved ones have died
We can only drop our heads and quietly pray
For time to heal those who grieve because of this day

My learning will come when my children I teach
To be kind to every soul that looks to be out of their reach
For perhaps that individual is lost in some way
Like the Boy who unfolded his anger this day

Realistically, I know it’s all out of my hands
To make my kids be aware of our parental demands
For life is a series of movement through time
Of loving and learning on the ladder we climb

I think remembering is the best we can do
When time eases the pain that we are going through
A nation grieves for those we don’t know
Our hearts are heavy and our confidence low

For tragedy binds us all in some way
Like the sadness we see that happened this day
So tomorrow I’ll rise and I’ll still question why
Even though the answer is that life changes in the blink of an eye!
— Michelle Plouse Apr 18, 12:05 AM

While these sentiments may be expressed in the virtual world,
they can help those who have to carry on in the real one.

My thoughts and prayers, along with those of my family, friends and millions of people worldwide - are with the good people of Virginia Tech. May you find peace and understanding in all that has happened.