Sunday, April 22, 2007
'Come together, grieve together'
There was not a cloud in the clear blue sky, as Virginia Tech students returned to campus on Sunday. Both parents and students were dressed in maroon and burnt orange as they made their way back to a place filled with heavy emotions.

There's always a fine line we as journalists must walk when covering stories like this. How do you approach a student or a parent who has gone through the unthinkable?

Cautious of their emotions but yet eager to do our job and tell their story, one must tread lightly. We found many of the people we spoke to were happy to discuss their feelings.

One tech student, engineering major Kristen Paterson, spoke to us right after she walked through the student-erected memorial on the drill field.

Paterson said memorials like this are necessary to heal.

"The overall feeling in the school has been great. It's really helpful when we all just come together and have memorials like this and our candlelight vigil. It really does help when we can come together and grieve together."

The sense of unity on this campus is overwhelming. It's hard for someone like myself who's experiencing it for the first time, not to be amazed by the sheer courage and camaraderie of these Virginia Tech students, who seem filled with Hokie pride.

-- By Brian Vitagliano, CNN Producer
Posted By CNN: 7:03 PM ET
  5 Comments
I am really pleased to be able to post this! I have wanted to do so all weekend but had nowhere to do so until now!
All week these incredible students at VT have impressed us all with their courage, their loyalty to their friends and their school and their determination to continue on without allowing this tragedy to crush their spirit and their joy!
In my opinion, their greatest 'moment' was in placing that thirty-third stone in the memorial for Cho Seung-Hui!! Whether they realize it or not, that act of kindness and compassion was to me, and to many others, the very definition of this wonderful school! They are already beginning the healing and showing the world what special people they are and will be! GO HOKIES!! GO VIRGINIA TECH!!
Posted By Anonymous Sharon C. Burlington, Ontario CANADA : 10:32 PM ET
I am a student at LSU, and I just want to let the students at Va. Tech know two very important things. Our hearts and prayers are with you during this terrible time of mourning and loss. We have done our very best to be in union with you throughout this situation, and we will continue to do so.
The second thing is we can't wait to see you in September for Saturday night in Tiger Stadium! :)

Continued love and support from all of us tiger fans,
Geaux Hokies!
Posted By Anonymous Lindsay, Baton Rouge, Louisiana : 9:25 AM ET
I think Virginia Tech has shown what a stellar institution it is. To go through such a tragedy with their spirit hurt but not broken is a great example for all of us. Now I think it is time to leave the students and faculty alone and let them finish the school year as best they can. If I was the parent of an incoming freshman next year, I would not hesitate to let my child attend Virginia Tech. As one student said, "Stuff happens everywhere." Now give Va Tech some peace to grieve and let's move on to the next story, but please no more on Anna Nicole Smith's baby.
Posted By Anonymous Charlotte D, Stockton CA : 11:16 AM ET
I think every person grieves in their own way. Some of us want to be alone with our thoughts for awhile and some of us want to get back up and running headlong into life. Whenever I've lost a loved one I always try to think of how they'd want me to react. It's always the same for me..embrace life even harder than I did the day before. I think we honor those we lost, when we resume living, really living, as if today was all we had.
Posted By Anonymous Lorie Ann, Buellton, Calif. : 11:34 AM ET
Grief can fall like rain even when there isn't a cloud in the sky. How brave these young people have been over the last week. We have seen awesome displays of courage and friendsip from the campus of VT. Life goes on and will continue too. There is always a new day and new hope that inspires us to carry on. The wonderful memories left behind allows us to share bit and pieces of those who aren't with us any longer. Isn't the memory box a wonderful thing. It holds the most precious of all things. Things that can never be bought or sold but shared for years to come bringing back a smile, a tear, a hope, a dream. Farewells can be grief filled experiences---something we are never prepared for yet the comfort of memories can take us through a lifetime. May many wonderful memories rain comfort on the campus of VT as they prepare to carry on.
Posted By Anonymous Zann Martin, Tennessee : 12:08 PM ET
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