April 17, 2007
Thousands from the UVa and Charlottesville community gathered tonight, fighting back tears, to remember those lives lost in Monday's tragedy. Some lit candles, others embraced, all searching for a way to make it through these trying times.
"It's actually been really unnerving because it has been a bastion of things like that don't happen there," UVa Law Student Anna Markham.
Markham grew up in Blacksburg and her parents still live there. She says the shootings have shaken the community to the core. But she says during these trying times, everyone needs to stick together.
"It's important for the community to come together rather than start feeling isolated or drifting apart," she said.
"I just pretty much fell down and cried. There is nothing else that you can do," said third-year Jaye Anne Gallagher.
For Gallagher, the incident hit close to home. Just this year, she transferred from Tech to UVa. She says she can only look at the incident and wonder what if?
"I just got in off of the wait list. I could still be down there so that is what really freaked me out," she said.
Students signed good will letter and chanted, "Let's go Hokies." The hope of course that a simple
"I expect everyone to move forward and look back and remember and help each other move on," said UVa Alumnus Bill Sander.
During tonight's vigil, President John Casteen talked to the students about some lessons learned from this tragedy. He says UVa is reviewing all of its safety procedures and in fact are unveiling a new instantaneous alert that will send text messages to students phones in case of emergencies. That will begin next fall.