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2009 Day of Remembrance Events

The 18–person steering committee charged with the overall planning of on–campus activities to be held on Thursday, April 16, 2009, established the schedule of public events that were held on the Virginia Tech campus that day.

  • Midnight: A ceremonial candle will be lit at the April 16 Memorial. Members of the Corps of Cadets will stand guard by the candle during the entire day.
  • 8 AM: A 3.2–mile Run in Remembrance will start at Alumni Mall near the North Main Street entrance of campus and finish on the Drillfield near the April 16 Memorial. Participants may run or walk. Commemorative T–shirts will be provided to the first 500 people who register. There is no cost to walk or run in the event. Extended campus sites will be invited to plan similar runs. (See photos.)
  • Noon: A university–wide commemoration event will be held on the Drillfield at the April 16 Memorial (rain or shine). During this event, three wreaths will be placed at the memorial site. One wreath will be in memory of those who lost their lives that day, a second will honor survivors, and a third will recognize members of the Hokie family who have passed away since April 2007. The program will recognize the 32 students and faculty who lost their lives that day with comments on the special qualities of each person read aloud.
  • After the noon ceremony: Virginia Tech and extended community will be invited to bring a picnic lunch and remain on the Drillfield.
  • Throughout the afternoon: The university will provide venues across campus where individuals or groups may wish to express or witness remembrances in the form of poetry or other readings; writing; musical or artistic performances; art creation; or other activities. In addition, the Center for Peace Studies and Violence Prevention will host an open house at their new location in Norris Hall.
  • Sundown (approximately 8 PM): A candlelight vigil will be held on the Drillfield at the April 16 Memorial (rain or shine). The Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets will signal the start of the vigil with a Silent Drill. The event will be coordinated by Virginia Tech students representing a variety of student organizations. Following the candlelight vigil, candles will be collected to repurpose for the 2010 Day of Remembrance ceremonial candle.
  • 11:59 PM: The ceremonial candle will be extinguished at the April 16 Memorial.

Expressions of Remembrance

  • Images of Hope (1 PM – 5 PM, Colonial Room, Squires Student Center): A digital exhibit of photographic images of hope and recovery will be on display. Members of the Virginia Tech community are invited to share their own hopeful images. These photos may have been taken at any time, not necessarily following the events of April 16, and each person may submit up to three images. Photographs were be selected for inclusion in the exhibit based on their alignment with the theme of hope and resilience.
  • Reflection and Music (1 PM – 8 PM, War Memorial Chapel): Musicians will perform to create a space for reflection and remembrance. Candles will be available to light in memory of lost loved ones.
  • Video of the April 17, 2007 Convocation (1 PM – 5 PM, Auditorium, Graduate Life Center at Donaldson Brown): A videotape of the convocation will be shown in its entirety throughout the afternoon.
  • Center for Peace Studies and Violence Prevention and the Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics Open House (3 PM – 5 PM, Norris Hall): Guests may tour the center and learn more about the center’s mission to create and facilitate transdisciplinary research, education, and engagement opportunities that promote peace, prevent violence, and advance human security on a global scale.
  • Dance/Performance (4 PM – 6 PM, Burruss Auditorium): second annual “Remembrance Through Dance Performance: In Memory of Reema Samaha.”
  • Memorial Exhibit and Slide Show (8 AM – 5 PM, Holtzman Alumni Center): The Virginia Tech Alumni Association will display in the Alumni Museum selected memorial items presented to Virginia Tech in the days and weeks following April 16, 2007. A memorial slideshow, depicting images taken around the world that represented the outpouring of support after the tragedy, will be shown in Assembly Hall.
  • Display of April 16 Archive Items (8 AM – 8 PM, Commonwealth Ballroom hallway and second floor atrium, Squires Student Center): View items sent to Virginia Tech in the days and weeks following the tragedy.
  • Electronic Portfolios of Remembrance Projects (8 AM – 5 PM, Williamsburg Room, Squires Student Center): View e–portfolios of service projects created by students, faculty, staff, and alumni in memory of those who lost their lives in April 2007. Additional major service projects will be featured. Explore the exhibit and learn how to get involved in these projects. Project coordinated by VT–ENGAGE and the Center for Student Engagement and Community Partnerships.

Related Events

INOVA Virginia TechForLife Blood Drive: Thursday, April 16th, 2009 at the Northern Virginia Center, 3:00 PM – 8:00 PM

In tribute to the lives lost on April 16th, 2007, The National Capital Region Virginia Tech Alumni Association will be hosting a tribute Blood Drive on April 16th. This drive will be part of the VirginiaTechForLife Campaign, a program launched by Virginia Tech which has spurred congruent blood drives in the month of April with Alumni Associations across America. Come give a pint or two and lets show everyone how Hokies do blood drives!

The Virginia Tech Southwest Center and the Virginia Tech Southwest Virginia Alumni Association "Virginia Tech for Life" Blood Drive: Thursday, April 16, 2009 at the Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center in Abingdon, Noon until 7:00 PM

Other sponsors for this event are the Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center, Johnston Memorial Hospital Blood Bank, Alpha Natural Resources, and Food City.

Virginia Tech Richmond Center

Parents, caregivers, and their children who have experienced loss can participate in "The Healing Garden: Using Stories & Other Creative Activities to Assist Your Grieving Child" from 6 PM – 7:30 PM at the Virginia Tech Richmond Center, 2810 North Parham Road, Suite 300. The sessions are free.