In this April 16, 2008 photo, Va. Tech students and mourners participate in a candlelight vigil marking the first anniversary of the shootings. (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File) (Steve Helber/AP)

The simple ceremony lasted just minutes. It was nearly silent, although pieces of a conversation from another part of campus drifted over on the night breeze.

Most of the students gathered stared quietly ahead at the burning candle.The silence was broken by a call for the cadets to salute, and a bugle playing “Taps.”

A few minutes later, the crowd began to slowly disperse.

The candle is set to continue burning throughout Monday — as students attend classes, gather for a lunchtime picnic and attend an evening candlelight vigil.

The ceremonial candle will be extinguished at 11:59 p.m. and carried back into Burruss Hall, which university officials say is symbolic of their ”commitment to never forget.”

I will be tweeting updates from the 2012 Day of Remembrance at Virginia Tech on Monday. You can follow along at

Read more from The Washington Post:

Explore: At Virginia Tech, a massacre victim’s story of resilience and recovery

Shootings’ survivors, five years later

Full coverage: The stories of 32 lives taken away