Honor and hope

By Jacob J. Sherman

As I pen these words, a feeling of moroseness and somberness pervades inside my soul. The last few days have been burdensome to deal with because of the tragic events in Blacksburg, Va. (There is irony with that name and with the sad events that unfolded at Virginia Tech). Why do I feel the way I do? It is because of what was lost on that day and what is being lost.

What was lost were people of good will with bountiful hearts. During an ordinary day at campus on the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, ordinary students trying to make their live better by getting and giving an education were senselessly murdered by an evil gunman. Some of the best and brightest minds were lost. No one will ever know what greatness these lives had in store.

The media is not adequately telling the stories of the victims. Instead, the focus is on the gunman and the blame game for why such shocking events occurred. The media has a right to tell whatever side of the story it wants but there is a giant hole in the story. The victims are being victimized again by having their stories not being told or marginalized.

Instead, the victims are slowly becoming a number. The number 32 will soon become like the latest tally of war dead in Iraq. No meaning comes from this devaluing of human lives lost. It is our duty as humanity to remember the names such as Henry J. Lee, Lauren McCain or Matthew La Porte and the lives of the 29 others that lived, not their inhumane deaths.

Only after the memorials should the questions of why and how this happened should be raised. Let’s honor those who departed by knowing who they were. With their lives in mind, our society should work to make sure these events never rear their ugly heads at any school. Only through this action can a legacy of hope can be the gleam through the darkest clouds of April 16, 2007.

Jacob J. Sherman

graduate student