I thought I was going to avoid this subject, because I didn’t think I had anything worthwhile to say (although that doesn’t seem to stop a lot of other people). But I can’t avoid mentioning how the depth of the tragedy suddenly hit me. Out of idle curiosity, I looked at the Facebook site of one of the victims.
She had about 130 Facebook friends. And the pictures of many of them had been replaced with this black ribbon logo, indicating that they had also been killed. Then I started jumping to the sites of some of her surviving friends. And their friends lists were also full of black ribbons. And the surviving friends of those friends also had friends lists full of black ribbons.
Any incident that results in this number of fatalities is tragic. But it’s compounded in a community like a college campus, where so many people are so close to so many other people. For the rest of the world, 33 deaths is shocking, but we’re far removed from it and it’s somewhat impersonal. It’s hard to imagine what it must be like at Va Tech, where hundreds, maybe thousands, of people are dealing with the loss of several friends.