Our view: We were all hokies that day

Exactly one year ago our hearts stopped. We witnessed a scene unfold that made us question humanity.

Each hour, the death count grew. The pain in our stomachs deepened. It was happening almost 400 miles away, but it felt as though it were happening in our own backyard.

And it could have been.

The 32 fallen students were just like us. They sat in classrooms just like the ones we sit in every day. They had Facebook pages, impending exams, drama between friends and weekend plans.

But those Facebook pages were never updated, the exams were never taken, the drama was never resolved and the plans were never fulfilled.

Since the tragedy at Virginia Tech, the climate in America’s colleges – and even Kent State – has changed. On April 16, 2007, the sense of security many college students felt was shattered when news reports poured in of an armed student gunning down his classmates. We were shocked from our innocence.

It didn’t and still doesn’t make sense.

Security on college campuses has come a long way since the shootings. When reports surfaced of shooting taking place at Northern Illinois, it seemed like Virginia Tech all over again. Luckily, precautions had been in place, and the tragedy didn’t reach the magnitude of the massacre in Blacksburg.

But still, lives were lost for reasons nobody can comprehend.

We feel safe at Kent State. The university has taken precautions in ensuring that we’re able to grow and learn in the safest environment possible.

There’s always the possibility, however, of another senseless act of violence. But we cannot, and we will not, live in fear.

One year later, we still don’t understand what it’s like to go through that. We never will. But that doesn’t preclude us from feeling. We can empathize. We can remember. We can reflect.

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

The names of the fallen:

Ross Abdallah Alameddine, 20

Christopher James Bishop, 35

Brian Bluhm, 25

Ryan Clark, 22

Austin Cloyd, 18

Jocelyne Couture-Nowak

Daniel Perez Cueva, 21

Kevin Granata, 45

Matthew Gwaltney, 24

Caitlin Hammaren, 19

Jeremy Herbstritt, 27

Rachael Hill, 18

Emily Jane Hilscher, 19

Jarrett Lane, 22

Matthew La Porte, 20

Henry Lee, 20

Liviu Librescu, 76

G.V. Loganathan, 51

Partahi Lombantoruan, 34

Lauren McCain, 20

Daniel O’Neil, 22

Juan Ortiz, 26

Minal Panchal, 26

Erin Peterson, 18

Michael Pohle, 23

Julia Pryde, 23

Mary Read, 19

Reema Samaha, 18

Waleed Shaalan, 32

Leslie Sherman, 20

Maxine Turner, 22

Nicole White, 20