May 11, 2007
"I'm just so proud of him graduating from engineering school," said Darrell Stanhope, father of a Virginia Tech student.
Stanhope is one proud papa, joining more than 30,000 other people this weekend at Virginia Tech to celebrate their Hokies graduation. To celebrate and to heal.
"I myself have three family members who are coming because they want to be part of the healing process," said Rawley Stanhope, a Tech graduate.
While more people than before are coming this graduation weekend, the mood is tempered by the memories of those lives lost less than one month ago.
"You can't deny it. The people we lost here, they are in our hearts. I lost two friends as a matter of fact" said Rawley Stanhope.
His friends and the other victims will be honored tonight with posthumous degrees, the same for the graduate students this afternoon.
Their families will receive class rings, the victim's pictures flashed in the background. The university will highlight their lives, but not take away from the graduates here today.
"This university is top notch and the support from everybody has been awesome," said Darrell Stanhope.
Rawley's job search was put on hold so he can heal. But now he is ready to move on and find a job without forgetting those lost. If he doesn't, he'll have to answer to dad.
"We need to figure out what he's going to do," said Darrell
"Cutting off my funds," said Rawley.