On Tuesday, as the clock struck 9:43 a.m., students, faculty and staff at Virginia Tech paused for a moment of silence, marking the sixth anniversary of the day a student gunman terrorized the campus and killed 32 people.
The moment of silence was also observed by Virginians statewide as well as Gov. Bob McDonnell, who tweeted that he and his staff observed the moment of silence in Beijing.
Virginia Tech’s annual Day of Remembrance began hours earlier, at 12:01 a.m. with a ceremonial candle lighting and vigil at the school’s April 16 Memorial, located in front of the Burruss Hall administrative building. The names of the victims were read aloud, and the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets stood in watch for 32 minutes, one for each of the 27 students and five faculty members who were killed.
At 11:30 a.m., the school will hold a community picnic on the Blacksburg campus, and at 2 p.m. there will be a reception for the “Never Forgotten” art exhibit.
Throughout the day, various locations on campus will be set aside for quiet reflection and flags will fly at half-staff.
The day’s events will conclude when the ceremonial candle is extinguished at 11:59 p.m.
Additionally, a D.C. area chapter of the Virginia Tech Alumni Association will hold a blood drive in Falls Church on Friday.