Friday, April 20, 2007
'How do we go on from here?'
The tone among reporters and Virginia Tech representatives inside the Inn at Skelton Hall was markedly different Thursday afternoon. No longer were reporters attacking the speaker with a barrage of questions, shouting over one another to get answered first. Perhaps it was because they were tired, their tone much softer.

Perhaps it was empathy for the man responsible for our briefings: Larry Hincker, Virginia Tech associate vice president for university relations.

Hincker walked up to the podium. He leaned on his weary right hand as it shook and he spoke. Sometimes it was difficult to hear him even a few rows back. He addressed the media as friends, some now very familiar to him.

"How do we go on from here?" he asked quite literally in terms of how to logistically best go about relaying information to the news media from then on. The room fell into total silence.

It was clear we were taken aback by his sincere frankness and effort to work with us as much as he felt possible -- even despite his tired, beaten demeanor. Maybe 20 seconds passed until someone replied, "You're doing a good job."

The room broke out into applause.

For a few minutes inside the presser, we all reminded ourselves that though we are aggressive, we can and must appreciate one another -- mostly perhaps, because no one knows what might happen to them next.

-- By Michael Sefanov, CNN National Desk Assignment Editor
Posted By CNN: 9:20 AM ET
  12 Comments
Well said. I think where we go from here as a Nation is up to all of us. We don't live in a bubble of good, bad or anything in between. I think deep down we all want the same thing. And your right..we don't know if we'll be here tomorrow, so today is what needs to be lived to the fullest. Thanks for all these postings on the blog. Thank you for your work CNN. Take Care
Posted By Anonymous Lorie Ann, Buellton, Calif. : 11:01 AM ET
The events of the last few days have been both disturbing and give me some spark of optimism as I see people coming together.
But I am left wondering: How come we can't, or won't, come together to remember and support our soldiers, both living and dead? Those men and women face a Cho every single day.
Michael,
That 20 seconds must have felt like a lifetime. I'll bet there was not a dry eye in the house when the applause broke out. It stirs my emotions just reading this. It is all so powerful and overwhelming.
How DOES Virginia Tech go on from here? That is a tough question. Having dealt with personal losses of my own, I know that it is important to focus on how a person lived rather than how they died. Of course, that is easy to say but VERY difficult to do. It is quite a project in mind control.
Anderson did such a great job of remembering the victims last night on the show. The photos and info about each student or faculty made it so real. They all seemed like people I would love to have known.
Honestly, getting to know these people was what really hit me the hardest. I could not bare to see all the sweet faces. It was just too much. I had to close my eyes.
I hope the healing process can begin soon. I pray that the friends and families of these victims can remember all the joy that their loved one brought into their own life and eventually find peace that they deserve.

Prayer For Peace

Make me an instrument of thy peace,
Where there is hatred,
Let me sow love,
Where there is injury, pardon:
Where there is doubt, faith:
Where there is despair, hope:
Where there is darkness, light:
Where there is sadness, joy.

Grant that I may seek not so much to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love; for it is in giving that we receive.

God's Peace~
Posted By Anonymous Betty Ann, Nacogdoches, TX : 11:39 AM ET
It sounds like people have reached that point where the chaos has died down, and they're exhausted, and they want nothing more than to stop and breathe and try to take it all in. The madness of the last few days has taken an extraordinary toll on those nearest to it. My heart goes out to Larry Hincker, and everyone else trying to do their jobs while experiencing the same human reactions as the rest of the nation.
Posted By Anonymous Diana McNary, Detroit : 12:11 PM ET
If the media will allow them they will carry on as everyone does when a tragedy occurs. It's even worse tho when it affects your own family.

If Cho was bullied into these acts then I think more attention needs to be paid to people who bully others by intimidation and threats. I'm not excusing what Cho did but there has to be others out there who understand what it feels like to be pushed to that point. Cause and effect. I know it's easier to blame mental illness as the easy way out but anyone who doesn't feel some sort of empathy for Cho is losing the point here.

I've always live by the motto that the ones with the most problems point the most fingers and no one has proven me wrong yet....but I'd like someone to try....and no one can ever see their own mental problems, blind spots or strange behaviour. Even reading this blog and some of the bizarre comments.....oy.
Posted By Anonymous Em, Toronto, Ontario, Canada : 12:14 PM ET
I second the motion by blogger Rod of Co.

Isn't is disproportionate for CNN to provide 24/7 coverage of VaTech, when our military men and women have volunteeered to die for you and me, yet you don't see them on the front page of cnn.com.

Im very sorry for the students and teachers who perished, but they were victims of evil and circumstances; soldiers, sailors, airmen, coasties and marines are heroes because they believe in standing up to evil and are willing to die for it.
Posted By Anonymous xtina - chicago IL : 12:16 PM ET
AT the end of the day,we are only humans trying to do our best.
" Love like it's never going to hurt and dance like nobody's watching"
That's how I try to live my life.I hope the families will find some kind of peace along the way,when they are ready. Trying to make sense of what happened,I don't think it's possible.
But,that's how we are,trying to name,explain everything,understand,so we can feel secure again.
Joanne R.
Laval Quebec
Posted By Anonymous Joanne R.Laval Quebec : 12:53 PM ET
From here we go on to being more inclusive, more sensitive and more aware of those around us. This means more responsibility, to not pass over something or someone that comes to mind or our attention, to not allow offensive behavior to go unchallenged, wherever it is noted, whether in the classroom or the street corner. This will take courage and effort and education.
Posted By Anonymous Carol McFarlane, Yakima : 1:10 PM ET
Life is not always measured by the quantity of breaths you take, but with the quantity of moments that take your breath away. Your portrayal last night of the victims was a great remembrance of their beautiful lives and the many wonderful memories that will continue to live on in the people left behind.

Hope CNN now will make it prio. no. 1 to remember and respect the victims and their lives. The bothersome question of why they were killed has been given too much attention in this time of mourning.
Posted By Anonymous Kristina, Boden, Sweden : 3:12 PM ET
Anderson & Crew: DITCH THE PODCAST!!! How many people have an Ipod vs. a Personal Computer?!?

YOU ARE IGNORING THIS AC 360 BLOG, AND DIVERTING HUMAN RESOURCES TO THE DUMB "PODCAST", whatever that is!!

Ditch the podcast, and redevote the human resources to this blog, please, thanks.

We sure could have used more comments and dialogue this past week--but NOOOOO, the "Baby of AC--the PODCAST" got all the attention!!! Waaahhhh!!! "Back to the Blog", AC!! You ignored your very own blog the WEEK WE NEEDED YOU MOST AC!!! How could you!?!
Posted By Anonymous Mark, Sacramento, CA : 4:33 PM ET
VA Tech has done an amazing job in the most horrible circumstances anyone could ever face. CNN has brought these stories to the world with integrity and grace. And as human beings, we once again have come together to care for and about people we may not even know. A month ago two of our high school kids died from two different auto accidents. We are still grieving for those boys. As a teacher I still hug my kids, talk it out with them, cry with them, and mostly listen as they tell me their stories and try to heal from their pain. We haven't figured out where to go yet. We take it day by day. I pray the community of VA Tech finds the strengh to heal day by day. I pray we never forget how precious each life really is. Mostly I pray that my kids and the survivors of this week never lose their innocence and belief that the world is good even when the worst things possible happen.
Posted By Anonymous Tammy C., Berwick, LA : 6:59 PM ET
I think events like this are hard on everybody and we are all only human after all. We do the best we can and hope it's enough.

Thank you Anderson and crew for this and all the blogs and for sharing with us all week. It helps to have a place to come and share our feelings and see that other people feel the same. It's not required that anyone blogs, it is something extra and I'm sure most of us appreciate it.

Finally, I don't think anyone has forgotten our men in uniform. CNN and 360 in particular have had many specials and segments devoted to them. It would be nice if the war only lasted for a day or two, then I'm sure it would get 24/7 coverage.
Posted By Anonymous Christina, Windber, PA : 9:24 PM ET
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