Presidential Archives

Service for Victims of the Virginia Tech Tragedy

President David J. Skorton

April 19, 2007
Sage Chapel

We are one; one community, one people, one planet.

We are here today to affirm that one-ness and to draw strength from each other, to find peace in each other, to care for each other and to share our love.

We are one.

We are here to bear witness to the passing of the 33 members of our family at Virginia Tech. University who have met an untimely and terrible fate.

We are here for all of those who are gone, for all 33.

We are here for the 32 who have passed from the immediate to another place, not by their own choice.

We are also here for the 1 who has also passed.

We are one.

We are here to join arms and hearts with the families, friends and colleagues of all of these individuals.

We are here to join with our friends in the Korean and Korean-American communities for we are all one family, most especially today we share the same sorrow and the same need for comfort and reassurance.

We are one.

We are here to recognize that there are many issues to discuss, many plans to be made, many disagreements to be settled, causes to be sought, remedies to be conceived — but not today, not now. Now, we are here to comfort and be comforted, to remember.

We are one.

We are here to seek meaning, to make sense out of the senseless, to somehow find a way to move forward.

We are here to find courage, to find a way to still believe in tomorrow, a tomorrow without fear, a tomorrow that still has endless possibilities.

We are here to affirm the importance of openness on our campuses, the openness that permits us to be together in this way, in this place, at this time.

We are one.

We are together today to look both backward and forward, to look both within and without, to look at the person next to us and at ourselves, to find our bearings, our place.

We will stay together, we will go forward together, we will never forget our loss.

We are one.