Thoughts and Prayers

We just finished watching a special edition of Dateline--ABC News. While the country is still reeling from the horrific mass murder at the campus of Virginia Tech, students across the nation pause to reflect and pray for the tragedy's victims and their families.

While I watched the VaTech students react to the tragedy I couldn't help but reflect on my time at Southern, both as a student and as a staff member.

I remember students coming together, offering prayer and encouragement for the family of a student who lost their life on Christmas eve.

I remember in 2001, when the university community came together to pay tribute to a slain police officer who was gunned down during a routine traffic stop.

I remember a few days later, when terrorists attached targets in NYC and Washington DC, in the worst attack ever on American soil. The student body came together in a candle-light vigil to pray for the victims and their families, the nation and our leaders.

I also remember more recently, though we were living more than 550 miles away, a fire ripped through a campus residence hall, claiming the life of one of the students. The campus and community united in tribute and prayer.

Today President Bush attended a ceremony at the Virginia Tech campus, and he called universities "sanctuaries of learning." And after seven years at a university (four as a student and three as a staff member), I couldn't agree more.

If there is any positive in this horrific tragedy, it's that the university family of VaTech will continue to pull together and lift each other up. And like our extended family at VaTech, the rest of us will pause and refocus on what's truly important: faith, family, freedom and friendships.

May we be filled with hope, when life seems hopeless.
May we be filled with love, when our hearts feel empty.
May we be filled with peace, when common sense says there is none.

Thoughts and prayers.


Unknown said...

what a beautiful sentiment, garrett. my heart goes out to the families and friends of these victims, and anyone touched by this tragedy. special love to my friend, mary, who lost 3 friends yesterday during this senseless massacre. we must all count our blessings every day.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your kind wishes and thoughts. I know all my friends and fellow hokies feel the same way. It's a hard thing to come to grasp with. Those stairs I walked up every day for 3 years, the dorm I lived in are all tarnished with blood. They'll never quite be the happy place I spent so much time.

Seeing the faces of friends on CNN's list of victims, I cannot describe. Seeing the pictures of my campus with all of that going on.. surreal.

You are right, we will come together. We will be stronger. We are more aware of the amazing friends and people across this country that care.

This week, we are all hokies. We hurt together. (Even those of you from U of Miami and FSU :-P)After all, many people who never would have dared to clash will bare maroon and orange together with pride on friday.

Thank you very much (and the wedding pictures are amazing).

Brandy J Rammel said...

Well said Garrett. You eloquently said eveything that I and so many others are feeling. The scenes are so tragic but the sense of community and family is comforting.