Virginia Tech shooting anniversary marked as students return to class

With all of the gun violence, we still cannot have a real conversation about gun control. I am glad that they hare beginning to heal at Virginia Tech. This should be a day of peace.

April 16. That’s how everyone at Virginia Tech refers to the horrific events of that frigid Monday morning five years ago when a student gunman with a history of mental health problems opened fire in a dorm and then in an academic building.

He murdered 27 students and five faculty members before killing himself.

For the past four years, Va. Tech has not held classes on April 16. At first, it was just too painful, and last year, the date fell on a Saturday. This year, which marks the fifth anniversary, April 16 is a Monday. And university leaders decided it was time to return to class.

“There was agreement that this was the right time,” said Va. Tech Provost Mark G. McNamee, who has been at Tech since 2001. “We did not want anyone to think that this is a holiday.”

When you read through the biographies of the April 16 victims, McNamee said, a theme emerges: Each had a deep love for learning that led to grand dreams for the future and a desire to make a difference in the world.

“One way to remember them is to go to class,” he said. “That’s what they were doing, and that’s what we live for.”

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