18 April 2007

We are all Virginia Tech

Nikki Giovanni at the VT Memorial Convocation, 4/17/07

We are Virginia Tech.

We are sad today, and we will be sad for quite a while. We are not moving on, we are embracing our mourning.

We are Virginia Tech.

We are strong enough to stand tall tearlessly, we are brave enough to bend to cry, and we are sad enough to know that we must laugh again.

We are Virginia Tech.

We do not understand this tragedy. We know we did nothing to deserve it, but neither does a child in Africa dying of AIDS, neither do the invisible children walking the night away to avoid being captured by the rogue army, neither does the baby elephant watching his community being devastated for ivory, neither does the Mexican child looking for fresh water, neither does the Appalachian infant killed in the middle of the night in his crib in the home his father built with his own hands being run over by a boulder because the land was destabilized. No one deserves a tragedy.

We are Virginia Tech.

The Hokie Nation embraces our own and reaches out with open heart and hands to those who offer their hearts and minds. We are strong, and brave, and innocent, and unafraid. We are better than we think and not quite what we want to be. We are alive to the imaginations and the possibilities. We will continue to invent the future through our blood and tears and through all our sadness.

We are the Hokies.

We will prevail.

We will prevail.

We will prevail.

We are Virginia Tech.

Addenda 1 (To bring it back home): 76 people have been murdered in the City of Baltimore as of Tuesday March 15, 2007

Addenda 2 (To talk about what some have called the '800 pound gorilla in the room Nikki didn't have to mention, thanks to the presence of George W Bush in Blacksburg'): Tim Grieve of Salon.com's "War Room" notes this:

From Blacksburg to Baghdad

We know that Baghdad, Iraq, is a long way from Blacksburg, Va., and we don't mean to take anything away from the tragedy that struck this week at Virginia Tech. But still, we've got to ask: How much airtime will the networks commit -- how many convocations will George W. Bush attend -- to honor the lives of the 178 people who were killed in bombings in Iraq's capital today?


Anonymous said...

It is too bad that Nikki Giovanni is trying to use this situation as a platform to promote her own political agenda. It is supposed to be about the victims, not Giovanni’s political ideology.

Kaunda said...

I don't see it quite the same way as the previous commenter. It seems a very useful thing to say: "We will be sad for quite a while." There are many times in life when "just getting over it" isn't the way towards healing.

"No one deserves tragedy."

It was hard to watch Giovanni on TV. But my sense of the way the crowd responded was she gave voice to feelings. I was moved. And I am moved that you posted this.