Once a Hokie, Always a Hokie

Today, I want to take a moment to remember the 32 lives lost at my alma mater, Virginia Tech, four years ago.  Below is one of my favorite speeches made about that day, by one of our own professors, Nikki Giovanni.

Professor Nikki Giovanni speaks at Convocation, April 17, 2007.


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.

I know I’ve got a few friends in the blog world getting married today, and I had mixed feelings about it at first, but in the end I’m so glad that there will still be joy and happiness on this day, and it only shows that we will prevail.

Personal Photo



While 32 of our friends and classmates are in Heaven trying to explain what a Hokie is, I stand here sure in the fact that I wouldn’t want to be anything else.
Live for 32 every day.  neVer forgeT.
About Jess

About Jess

Jess Beer is a full-time working mom of two girls who writes about motherhood, wellness, easy meals and style.

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2 Responses

  1. I can’t believe four years have already passed since this tragedy happened. I think it’s right that you wrote about it today, as it’s important to remember that even in times of joy, there is still a lot of suffering and evil in the world. It’s in remembering those things that we can appreciate the gifts in our lives all the more strongly. And yes, it is a sign that love prevails.

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I’m Jess! I’m a working mama of two sweet sisters living in the DC area. This is my space to share inspiration, real stories of working motherhood, recipes, style, and more! I can’t start my day without coffee and always try to show the real side of motherhood – the good and the challenging. I’m so glad you’re here – thanks for following along on my journey!

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