A Monday morning we’ll never forget

Credit: DKS Editors

Virginia Tech will be a school we remember forever. Not because of a road trip or a football game we played against them, but because of the tragedy that occurred on its campus two short years ago.

We’ll remember watching the news coverage, seeing the names and faces of the 32 who were killed that day, learning about their stories. We’ll remember listening to television and radio personalities taking it upon themselves to determine it was movies that brought the worst out of the shooter. We’ll remember the hoards of “We are all Hokies” T-shirts and banners.

But this is also what everyone else will remember. Our generation, on the other hand, will remember having to console one another and convincing each other everything will go back to normal. After all the shock began to fall from our hearts, we had to deal with the fact it could have happened to any of us, had we chosen a different school or had the shooter chosen ours. We realized that “We are all Hokies” meant more than a T-shirt in memorial of 32 people. It meant that we were those 32. Every college student anywhere could have been one of the 32.

In memory of these VT students and faculty who lost their lives

•Ross A. Alameddine

•Christopher James Bishop

•Brian R. Bluhm

•Ryan Christopher Clark

•Austin Michelle Cloyd

•Jocelyne Couture-Nowak

•Kevin P. Granata

•Matthew Gregory Gwaltney

•Caitlin Millar Hammaren

•Jeremy Michael Herbstritt

•Rachael Elizabeth Hill

•Emily Jane Hilscher

•Jarrett Lee Lane

•Matthew Joseph La Porte

•Henry J. Lee

•Liviu Librescu

•G.V. Loganathan

•Partahi Mamora Halomoan Lumbantoruan

•Lauren Ashley McCain

•Daniel Patrick O’Neil

•Juan Ramon Ortiz-Ortiz

•Minal Hiralal Panchal

•Daniel Alejandro Perez

•Erin Nicole Peterson

•Michael Steven Pohle, Jr.

•Julia Kathleen Pryde

•Mary Karen Read

•Reema Joseph Samaha

•Waleed Mohamed Shaalan

•Leslie Geraldine Sherman

•Maxine Shelly Turner

•Nicole Regina White

And on top of the grieving, we had to reassure an entire nation that we are not a deadly generation. We were neither born to kill nor born to die tragically. We have seen multiple school shootings in our young lives and will most likely live to see even more. We’ve seen the World Trade Center collapse, Hurricane Katrina tear people from their homes, the Iraq war begin and the Southeast Asian tsunami stun millions, to name a few.

But we will not be defined by the tragedies of our lifetime.

Every time we take a moment to think about the days that changed our lives we prove to the world that we can not only overcome these events, but we can also learn from them. For every student hurt or killed, there are millions of others ready to pick up where that person left off.

The students at Kent State have their own tragedy to overcome. We refuse to be labeled as the school where “those four students died.” Instead, we are a university filled with great departments, great teachers and even better students.

To those who lost their lives at Virginia Tech two years ago today, we miss you. To the families and friends, we are sorry. But your son or daughter, brother or sister, friend or roommate or this stranger to many will not be remembered merely as a victim of someone’s rage. They will be remembered as we remember our own son, daughter, brother, sister, friend and roommate we have today.

We weren’t just Hokies for a day. Beginning on April 16, 2007, we were Hokies forever.

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.