It is one year since the horrific shooting at Virginia Tech. I remember that day well. I was working at the University of Delaware then, just a few hours from Blacksburg, and my boss's son was a senior at Tech. He didn't have classes that day, and was supposed to leave Blacksburg to come to Delaware for the weekend. There were anxious phone calls from parish members calling to make sure he was okay. I'm sure my boss was concerned, but he assumed that no news was good news. He did get a call from his son in the afternoon who had been on the road when the shooting happened and stopped when he heard the news, knowing his dad would be worried. It's a scene that I'm sure was repeated tens of thousands of times as everyone connected with Virginia Tech was stunned and frightened.
Since then I've written here about other school shootings. None as tragic as Tech's, except to those who were actually involved. Every act of violence is tragic. And every act of love and every choice for forgiveness over revenge is a small unraveling of violence in the world. On this sad anniversary, perhaps we should each look for a way to be loving or forgiving in order to unravel some of the tragedy, and to help redeem the deaths of the Virginia Tech students and faculty.
The Rev. Scott Russell, the Episcopal Campus Minister at Tech wrote this moving essay about today. We were a part of the same province when I was at Delaware and I know Scott to be a caring, funny, and gifted priest.