Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Virginia Tech Faces

When I first saw news of Virginia Tech on the NYTimes.com website, it didn't even register. Oh man, another shooting. Oh man, more violence in the world... But as the day progressed, I got more information and more put off by the shootings. Students on the Middlebury campus buzzed about it but there wasn't an oh-my-god-drop-what-you're-doing stop that accompanied Columbine or 9/11. No, Midd students primarily carried on with their day without even really a pause to think of the implications here on this college campus. I know I barely thought about it outside a news context.

And then today, I came across this site which listed memorial pages...on Facebook. Here are some examples:

Emily Jane Hilscher

Ryan Christopher Clark a.k.a. Stack

Mary Read

Henry Lee

Leslie Sherman

Reema Samaha

Maxine Turner

Jarrett Lane

Matt La Porte

Brian Bluhm

Caitlin Hammaren

Daniel Perez

Ross Alameddine

What struck me most about this is that at first glance, these pages look like every other innocent Facebook page: celebrating being a college students with inside jokes. But a closer look reveals the pain people are feeling channeled though a memorial page. It's powerful.

So every Facebook-using, friend-counting, wall-posting, status-stalking college student including all of us in our Vermont bubble should not only pause in rememberence but think hard about how easy it could have been our school, our friends, our beloved community. We live in a delicately balanced world and it's worth remembering to be there for one another.

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on the books...