Hokie Love

"While 32 of our friends and classmates are in heaven trying to explain what a Hokie is, I stand here sure in the fact that I wouldn't want to be anything else."

Seven years ago I woke up on a cold April morning in my little dorm room in Blacksburg, VA to go to Statistics class with my roommate and our friends on the hall. I looked out the window and it was so cold that it was snowing, so weird for April! Little did I know this was going to be the most "normal" thing about that day... I received a text from a friend who was already in class at the time saying she was seeing a ton of police outside her classroom window. I started hearing lots of sirens outside rushing down Washington Street, and looked out the window to see more police like she had mentioned. This was right about the time we were supposed to head out to class. In my gut, I knew something wasn't right and I tried to convince my friends to just skip class that morning just to be on the safe side. They still tried to go on without me and were stopped at the door by the police and told to stay inside. Yep, something's definitely up. I sent a quick email to my parents just to give them a head's up that something weird was going on. Looking back I'm so glad I did that as early as I did, before anything broke out on the news they already knew I was safe and sound in my 4th floor dorm room in Lee Hall.

The events from that tragic morning unfolded before us, as well as the rest of the nation, throughout the day. My roommate and I spent the day on our computers, connecting with our loved ones that were far away, and watching the news on our little TV in shock of what was happening on our wholesome campus out in Southwestern Virginia. I remember receiving an email from a sorority sister whose roommate's dad worked for the police department, "things are a lot more serious than they're telling us."

It was an awful, terrible, tragic day but one that with be in any Hokie's heart forever. What happened to our campus after this was the most amazing thing I've seen though. A coward that tried to bring us down, only make the "Hokie Nation" much much stronger. We all became more than just a community of Virginia Tech students,  staff, and faculty... we became a family. We saw that the 32 Hokies we lost that day were living their lives with a purpose, and we wanted to honor them the best way we could. "Live for 32."

"I ask each of you to take the time to be a Hokie this week. Appreciate life a little more, take in every moment around you, count your blessings, tell the people around you that you love them, slow down, remember what's truly important in life … And live for those 32 that do not have that chance anymore."


  1. I remember exactly where I was when I heard about this. And trying to get updates from a Spanish computer cafe, way before wifi was so widely available!

    Thinking of you and VT today! xo

  2. beautifully written post, Heather...got me a little teary eyed here at work! This day hits close to home for me too as a native Virginian and Hokie fan...God bless those 32 <3