In Richmond, Washington and, of course, Blacksburg, politicians are recognizing the fifth anniversary of the mass shooting at Virginia Tech, when a gunman killed 32 people and himself.
In Richmond, the Capitol Square Bell Tower rang once for each victim this morning.
In Washington, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, joined by Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.) and wounded student Colin Goddard, called on Congress to improve gun laws.
In Blacksburg, a ceremonial candle is burning for 24 hours near a memorial on the Drillfield, Virginia Tech’s main quad. Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) will speak at a candlelight vigil tonight.
McDonnell issued a proclamation officially recognizing April 16, 2012, as Virginia Tech Remembrance Day, while many elected officials issued statements, including both Sens. James Webb (D) and Mark Warner (D).
Read more from our colleague Jenna Johnson in from Blacksburg here . Read the proclamation below:
VIRGINIA TECH REMEMBRANCE DAY
WHEREAS, on the morning of April 16, 2007, a tragedy of immense magnitude and senselessness befell the campus of the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University; and
WHEREAS, the lives of 32 individuals from the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University were hastily taken, leaving absences that will never be filled and a profound sense of sorrow in the lives of those impacted; and
WHEREAS, the community continues to mourn those who perished, we also honor those individuals wounded as they individually and collectively strive to prevail through this tragedy; and
WHEREAS, we recognize and thank local, state, and federal first responders who courageously answered the call of duty in an effort to prevent the further loss of life; and
WHEREAS, the citizens of the Commonwealth of Virginia join with those from across the country and around the world in their thoughts and prayers to honor the cherished memories of those who lost their lives and those wounded; and
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Robert F. McDonnell, do hereby recognize April 16, 2012, as VIRGINIA TECH REMEMBRANCE DAY in the COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.