Virginia Tech should be left to mourn
Wednesday brought about a lot of anxiety for those who failed to file their taxes on time, and thereby had to file an extension and prolong having to settle with the IRS.
It was also one year to the day after the shootings on the Virginia Tech campus. Thirty-two students and professors died that day. Thirty-two families lost loved ones, an entire campus mourned the huge loss and the world grieved alongside the Virginia Tech community.
As evident in any one of the myriad print, digital and television news reports in the last week or so marking the anniversary, Virginia Tech is healing.
Though the school and its community members will never forget what happened last year, facing April 16 in subsequent years will be hard enough without having to do so under intense media scrutiny.
All of the major news outlets have featured stories concerning the one-year mark at Virginia Tech. Cameramen and reporters have flocked to the campus to file reports on current student life at Tech, updates on survivors of the shootings and the archiving of items sent from around the world to the school in memory of the day’s events.
Getting to the one-year mark is crucial, as it shows the Virginia Tech community has moved on but is still grieving. No one wants to forget friends or loved ones lost on that day. Though their lives may have ended, their memories may live on in the minds and hearts of those closest to them.
Such memorial testaments can be harder to maintain under the glaring eye of the media. The worst school shooting in U.S. history will be hard to forget, but for those still in Blacksburg, making it through the middle of April each year may be bearable without having to do so in a story featured on ESPN’s SportsCenter.
It is time for the cameras to step back from the Virginia Tech campus and let the school’s students, faculty and family members grieve for their loved ones in peace.
Last year, many of us looked to the news for coverage of the shootings. We watched in horror as the events were relayed by those on the campus who witnessed the rampage unfurl. Prayer vigils took place on college campuses and cards of support were signed and sent to Virginia Tech, showcasing solidarity with the university’s community.
The memento archive being constructed at the campus, as reported by CNN, will be testament enough that the rest of the world supports the school and stands by Virginia Tech in the grieving process.
Virginia Tech ought to be left alone to mourn each mid-April without being made fodder for some 24-hour news channel.
Lopez, a post-baccalaureate English student, can be reached via [email protected]