Hokie Hope

Virginia Tech suffered a horrific tragedy Monday, and NC State decided to offer a symbolic tribute to the Hokies. Above Carter-Finley Football Stadium, a lone maroon flag with the words Virginia Tech in orange waves.

We are Virginia Tech.
We are sad today, and we will be sad for quite a while. We are not moving on, we are embracing our mourning. We are Virginia Tech.

We are strong enough to stand tall tearlessly, we are brave enough to bend to cry, and we are sad enough to know that we must laugh again. We are Virginia Tech.

We do not understand this tragedy. We know we did nothing to deserve it, but neither does a child in Africa dying of AIDS, neither do the invisible children walking the night away to avoid being captured by the rogue army, neither does the baby elephant watching his community being devastated for ivory, neither does the Mexican child looking for fresh water, neither does the Appalachian infant killed in the middle of the night in his crib in the home his father built with his own hands being run over by a boulder because the land was destabilized. No one deserves a tragedy. We are Virginia Tech.

The Hokie Nation embraces our own and reaches out with open heart and hands to those who offer their hearts and minds. We are strong, and brave, and innocent, and unafraid. We are better than we think and not quite what we want to be. We are alive to the imaginations and the possibilities. We will continue to invent the future through our blood and tears and through all our sadness.

We are the Hokies.

We will prevail. We will prevail. We will prevail.

We are Virginia Tech.

Nikki Giovanni
VT University Distinguished Professor
April 17, 2007

Hokie Hope

Our group’s admin put this up at her desk. I found an oblique reference to this event on the VT website (down the right-hand side) and it is also posted on Microsoft’s job-blog site.

About VaWolf82

Engineer living in Central Va. and senior curmudgeon amongst SFN authors One wife, two kids, one dog, four vehicles on insurance, and four phones on cell plan...looking forward to empty nest status. Graduated 1982

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30 Responses to Hokie Hope

  1. packpigskinfan23 04/18/2007 at 4:57 PM #

    I really love how everyone at the candle light vigil on States campus was wearing Orange and Maroon… and even to think that the kids from UVa were doing the same REALLY shows how everyone is pulling together to help so their support for all these people.

  2. Mike 04/18/2007 at 9:23 PM #

    I am there in spirit – dont think I own anything in orange or maroon.

  3. theHowling 04/18/2007 at 9:25 PM #

    In the News and Observer today there was mention of NCSU and Duke affiliates doing something for this, but there wasn’t mention of that other school down the road showing any support. Pretty typical if you ask me…

  4. stateleigh 04/19/2007 at 9:39 AM #

    Hokie Sports has a link showing vigils from around the country. State, Duke and UNC all held vigils.

  5. CaptainCraptacular 04/19/2007 at 1:34 PM #

    I’m sure everyone heard the Nationals wore VT caps during their Tuesday game vs Atlanta. Along the lines of this thread, I had also read that one Nat was a UVa grad. They had a few printbites where he said he was proud / honored to wear it in memory of the victims.

  6. BoKnowsNCS71 04/20/2007 at 8:06 AM #

    I heard some interesting comments from a VT woman this morning on the radio. They are just about fed up with the media parasites on campus feeding on this story from every possible angle.

    She said calmly — “It’s time to move on. You got your story — now leave and let us heal.”

    I hope that the media will eventually let this go — or will it take another Anna Nicole or senseless crime story to knock this off the front page? But no – I suspect Ms. Grace will be talking about this until June.

  7. packbackr04 04/20/2007 at 12:41 PM #

    youre right Bo- the media are like leeches. its sad really to have something like that happen and then to have sokmeone stick a camera and mike in your face…. i do feel for everyone involved though

  8. packbackr04 04/20/2007 at 12:41 PM #

    dont forget Greta

  9. branjawn 04/20/2007 at 4:01 PM #

    They only talk about it because people watch/listen.

    Is everyone aware that there is a gunman situation at NASA this afternoon?

  10. highstick 04/20/2007 at 4:22 PM #

    That’s why they call them the “drive by media”!

  11. mroli 04/20/2007 at 5:59 PM #

    let the media know you support VT… (from the wral site)


  12. noah 04/20/2007 at 6:53 PM #

    I hope people won’t forget the shooter’s family, who were also victims in this (different kind of victim, of course). Their statement today was heartbreaking.

    “We pray for their families and loved ones who are experiencing so much excruciating grief. And we pray for those who were injured and for those whose lives are changed forever because of what they witnessed and experienced.

    Each of these people had so much love, talent and gifts to offer, and their lives were cut short by a horrible and senseless act.

    We are humbled by this darkness. We feel hopeless, helpless and lost. This is someone that I grew up with and loved. Now I feel like I didn’t know this person.

    We have always been a close, peaceful and loving family. My brother was quiet and reserved, yet struggled to fit in. We never could have envisioned that he was capable of so much violence.

    He has made the world weep. We are living a nightmare.”

    Yahoo News Link

  13. 98st8 04/20/2007 at 8:20 PM #


    Whoever decided to do this…very nice!

    Thanks for the heads-up.

  14. redfred2 04/20/2007 at 8:27 PM #

    I’m not looking to blame, or conjur an excuse, and I’d like to be able to empathize with this guy’s parents, but I have to believe that there is something extremely dark somewhere in that kid’s past. His parents may not have known any of the particular what’s, when’s, or where’s, but they had to have known something was terribly wrong with their son. Especially after reading his writing that he even handed over to a teacher to be graded??? Also considering the stories about his misfit behavior that goes way back, back when he was living under the same roof, with those same parents.

    If I’m wrong, so be it, but there was a major disconnect somewhere, and it allowed this thing to start, and then it just let it grow, and grow.

  15. noah 04/20/2007 at 10:30 PM #

    redfred – dude was a paranoid schizophrenic. He was a sociopath who was completely incapable of forming relationships with people. That’s evident in his writing and his refusal to interact with anyone.

    This wasn’t something that anyone DID…this was just mental illness. By all accounts, several people did reach out to him and he pushed them all away.

    The guy was severely mentally ill and currently, we are a society that doesn’t really do anything to address severely mentally ill people. Even if a judge rules that someone is mentally incompetent, apparently they can’t hold them for more than three days.

    You detain them, medicate them, they get better…assume they are cured and then stop taking their medications. Schizophrenia is an evil, evil cycle for people that can’t get supervised care.

  16. BoKnowsNCS71 04/20/2007 at 11:13 PM #

    Noah/Red — too many hurt. Family of both, students, those who fear what comes next… We are a nation that wants peace, love and success for all We live in a world of hate, love, loneliness, togetherness, support and alienation and as the waves crest and fall — we all get affected by the ripples. 99% of us work to make life better for the next person. Yet the lonely, the alienated, the angry, the isolated, live in our same space. And that’s the news and the craziness. There’s no sense in any of this. I think sometimes you have to stop, take a breath, pause and then move on and hope the world we want is the one we live in. It’s easy to get sucked into that world of hate and if you do it consumes you and lessens you. We will all be — Hokies, people, samaritans, and weak souls — and we will rise above this and move forward.

  17. noah 04/21/2007 at 9:18 AM #

    It’s incorrect, IMO, to label Cho as “lonely”, “alienated”, “angry” or isolated.” Again…the boundaries that existed between Cho and everyone else were of his own making. He withdrew himself from society. Why? Well…that’s what sociopaths do. They are incapable of personal connections such as empathy or friendship and certainly, love.

    We want to go somewhere with our anger and dismay and say, “THIS is why it happened and THIS is who is at fault.” That’s totally normal.

    I just hate that this kid’s family becomes additional victims…I can’t imagine the horror and pain they must be going through. Compound that with death threats and it’s just awful

  18. packpigskinfan23 04/21/2007 at 2:01 PM #

    sociopath I can agree with, but this guy was no schizophrenic. he was way to organized, focused, and driven to be a schizo…

    everyone is a victim in this, and it is hard to feel for the family of Cho like we do for the familys of the other students… but I can honestly say I do feel for them. they werent well off financialy and even if they knew something was wrong with their son, they probably coulndt afford to do anything about it. the probably thought he would grow out of it. dark writings are not always a precursor to violence. some are just expressions. its truly sad.

    what I hate the most is that the media and people on their high horses keeps faulting VaTech for not reacting diffrently… I hate to tell those people but if this would have happened at any other school, there would be the same outcome. VaTech did what they could with the info they had.

  19. noah 04/22/2007 at 11:40 AM #

    Schizophrenics can often be obsessively organized. John Nash, in “A Beautiful Mind”, was schizophrenic.

    Cho’s paranoia, depression, the atonal, flat speech patterns, delusions of gradiosity, and most importantly, his willful social withdrawl and isolation…those are the classic signs of a paranoid schizophrenic.

    I haven’t seen too many people blaming VPI. They were basically helpless. I heard someone on Bill Maher’s show Friday wondering why he hadn’t been thrown out of school if everyone knew he was mentally ill…but I believe there are either state or national laws that would prohibit such an expulsion.

    This case is not about gun rights or cops or emergency notification. It’s exactly what is always going to happen until society (and not just American society, this is a problem most countries have) becomes more proactive in dealing with dangerously mentally ill people. We’re a long way from that…

  20. packpigskinfan23 04/22/2007 at 1:02 PM #

    Everything I have seen(including “A Beautiful Mind”) on schizophrenics has shown that they are unable to vocalize their intentions… even if only on video made by themselves. While thy may be obsessively organized in their actions, they arent in their thoughts. Cho’s thoughts where all driven on one objective.

    …just my thoughts, but I have heard many people on FoxNews and CNN and all the other news shows give the same opinion.

  21. redfred2 04/22/2007 at 6:13 PM #

    “I believe there are either state or national laws that would prohibit such an expulsion.”

    noah, there you go. Nutshell. There was no way to interviene, and everyone involved is resolved of all responsibilty after the fact, and some believe that is the idealic society. There is no common sense involving the rule of law that says we must all have equal rights in this society, whether we can form rational judgements, have the ability, and are contributing to this society or not. It’s everywhere, you can’t blame the criminals, illegal aliens, the mentally ill, or anyone, nobody is doing anything that’s not somehow accepted or protected within the law.

  22. noah 04/22/2007 at 7:20 PM #

    Well, actually…we have no problem blaming criminals. We incarcerate more people in this country than any other country on the planet. And it seems like I read that we incarcerate more people than any country in history. And we definitely incarcerate more non-violent criminals than all the rest of the countries put together.

    In fact, we have SUCH a good time blaming criminals that we pretend everyone is sane. Think about it…Charles Manson? In the eyes of the law, he’s sane. Wayne Williams? Sane. David Berkowitz? Sane. Dennis Rader (the BTK guy)? Sane. Ted Bundy? Sane. Jeffrey Dahmer? Sane. John Wayne Gacy? Sane. Gary Ridgeway (Green River killer)? Sane. Henry Lee Lucas (killed 300+ people)? Sane. Richard Ramirez (night stalker)? Sane. Angel Resendez (railroad killer)? Sane.

    Does anyone really want to tell me that they think Jeffrey f-ing Dahmer was sane?

    I have no idea what illegal immigration has to do with this discussion…

    packpigskinfan – Schizophrenics often have manifestos, but it’s just marred by paranoia, delusions and/or hallucinations. Communication is never going to be a strong point of a true sociopath. That flat, neutral accent is a tell-tale sign.

  23. redfred2 04/23/2007 at 8:27 AM #


    The illegal alien was somewhat of a stretch in this conversation, but I guess I was saying that the word “illegal” itself, is just another example of everyone in the country knowing it’s wrong and that changes are needed, but the rule of law is so perverted that nothing can be done to stop it.

    Also, no, I do not think any of those killers that you mentioned were sane. The problem is that going by the laws as they have been allowed to become so far skewed, those individuals can’t be touched until after they commit their henious acts. No one in the public realm can be proactive, try to protect that individual from himself, or protect the other innocent people that may end up in his path, without fear of stepping beyond these now ridiculous bounds of individual rights. Nothing can happen BEFORE, that an infringement of his individual rights, and the people who see and know that there is a problem become the target of the law when they set out to help. We don’t mind housing, feeding, and footing their every bill forever AFTER the crime is committed, but heaven forbid that anyone should be allowed to intervene before, that’s just not right.

  24. WolftownVA81 04/23/2007 at 10:06 AM #

    Back to the topic of Hokie Hope. If you haven’t read this article titled, The Final Emotion, you should. It’s very inspirational. My appologies for not making this a link, I’m still working on that.


    PS. My son is going back to classes at VT today and plans to finish the semester out. My sense from him is that many of his friends also plan to finish the semester. I’ll check with him tonight to see what his impression is concerning the rest of the student body.

  25. noah 04/23/2007 at 11:23 AM #

    “those individuals can’t be touched until after they commit their henious acts.”

    Well…strictly speaking, no one is supposed to be arrested for crimes they haven’t committed.

    According to a Justice Department study done in September of 2006, 56 percent of all prison inmates in state jails and 64 percent of all inmates in the country were mentally ill. Since about 1970, the United States, at the state and federal level, has systematically dismantled the mental health institution.

    We didn’t want to pay for the booby hatch, so to speak…but we paid for it anyway.

    During that same time period, the prison population of the country went from about 200,000 to 1.3 million in 2000 and it’s up over two million today. Our incarceration rate is five times that of the United Kingdom and twelve times greater than Japan. China, a country that will put you in prison for thinking the government sucks (and saying it out loud) has a population four times greater than the US and a prison population 1/10th the size.

    I don’t have exact numbers as to what it costs to keep someone in a mental facility vs. an after-the-fact cost of keeping someone in prison, but when you factor in the actual cost of the crime itself, I’d be willing to bet that the cost to society is at least five times greater the way we do it now.

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