Wednesday, April 18, 2007

We Are Virginia Tech

Yesterday, the TV created white noise while I worked. The VaTech Memorial Service, broadcast live, was just too sad to focus on until Nikki Giovanni rose and delivered her words at the end.
For those of you who didn't see Nikki Giovanni at yesterday's Memorial Service, here is the poem that silenced the room:

“We are Virginia Tech.

We are sad today and we will be sad for quite awhile. 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 sad enough to know 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, but neither do the invisible children walking the night away to avoid being captured by a rogue army.

Neither does the baby elephant watching his community be devastated for ivory. Neither does the Mexican child lookin' 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, not quite what we want to be. We are alive to the imagination and the possibility we will continue to invent the future through our blood and tears, through all this sadness.

We are the Hokies.

We will prevail, we will prevail, we will prevail.

We are Virginia Tech. "

Nikki Giovanni had the gunman in her class in 2005 and those "disturbing writings" that were reported on yesterday were written for her class. She brought his work to the attention of Lucinda Roy (who wrote a beautiful OpEd in the NYTimes yesterday). Administration was notified but there was nothing that could be done as there was no direct, specific threat. Nikki feared him so much that she eventually threatened to resign rather than to continue to teach Cho. She said that she was "troubled by his meanness" this morning on CNN.


Monkey said...


She is... amazing. What an incredible, poweful poem.

Thanks Mainah.

Jenn said...

Amazing. Wonderful. Awesome.