Last night, Meaghan and I held a vigil for the 33 victims of Virginia Tech. I realized then that I hadn't posted anything about that tragedy, and I felt bad. Not that it matters in the grand scheme of things, but I feel I should have said something to offer my condolences.
Last night, I spoke in front of students, faculty, staff and children of Nipissing University (and a few Canadore students), as well as the local media. Nothing has been posted on BayToday yet, but if there is, I'll link it here.
This is my speech from last night. I thought it would be good to put it here.
We stand together tonight to mourn the 33 individuals who were lost at Virginia Tech.
We are here to offer our support and strength to the friends, families and communities affected by this tragedy, and to support each other, as students, faculty, staff and as friends.
Together, we are here tonight, surrounded by our peers, as we try to come to grips with our own thoughts and emotions, and how the events of April 16th have affected us, and those around us.
Over the past week, we have watched as the world has attempted to make sense of the loss of life and potential for those who have fallen. It is human nature to ask ourselves "why?" and "what if?" and to walk with a little more caution down our familiar halls. It is Human Nature to feel anger, pain and frustration, to place blame and to gather all information available, to make plans to ensure that this never happens again.
But tonight is not about Blame. Tonight is not about finding a villian, or pointing out the bad or the wrong.
Tonight is about grief, loss, respect and coming together. Tonight is a night to reflect, and to connect with those around us. To share what we feel and to offer our condolences. Tonight I ask you to reach out to your fellow students, and share your thoughts. Ensure that no one is alone.
Tonight we stand together with hundreds of thousands of students around the world, and we light these candles, to commemorate, to remember, and to show that we are strong, and that our strength will carry us, as it will the survivors of Virginia Tech, to hold the memory of the 33 victims, and make it our Mission to see that this kind of tragedy never happens again.
There is a guestbook available for all students, faculty and staff of Nipissing U, and Canadore C, to sign. I believe it is located within Student Services on the Nipissing side. To get there from the bus stop, go to the information booth, turn left and go in the first doors before you hit the glassed off hallway. If you hit the crooked stairs, you've gone too far.
The guest book will be available at Nipissing's Convocation ceremonies in June. After that, we are planning to send the book to Virginia Tech's Administration.
I'll post again later tonight... I just needed to get this up.