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It happened here
A week or so ago, while watching a movie about JFK, I mentioned to my teenage daughter and son that at some point in their lives an event so extraordinary would take place that they'd forever remember the moment when they first heard the news. I could never have imagined it would happen right here, barely a week later. But it did: Blacksburg Virginia is our home town.

It wasn't so long ago that people outside of our state had barely ever heard of Virginia Tech. In the past several years, our powerhouse football team, our supercomputer, our bioinformatics research institute, and lots of other notable achievements by the university helped put us on the map. Still, Blacksburg is a very small town. Whenever Tami and I are out and about we almost always bump into someone we know.

So it's an almost surreal experience to see the buildings and streets of our local community plastered across the television screens and websites around the world. Like most Virginia Tech graduates I've walked those very sidewalks thousands of times, went to classes in those buildings, been on every floor of that dorm, and know that campus like the back of my hand.

I can't say for certain that Tami and I knew any of the students or faculty that were killed, but we do know people who knew them personally. We help support the Campus Crusade ministry in which three of those kids were involved. My son's classmate lost his father in the shooting. One of the victims was a regular attendee of our church. A friend of ours told me yesterday he was scheduled to teach 10 minutes later in one of the same rooms in Norris Hall where the killings took place. Like I said, this is a small town.

It'll be a long road, but we're starting to heal as a community. Tami and I went to the memorial yesterday afternoon and that was immensely helpful. We walked around campus for awhile and had lunch at Souvlaki's downtown. We've been praying a lot for the families of the victims. Last night we decided to watch American Idol instead of CNN, and it was really nice to see how they (and others) took the time to extend their sympathies and prayers.

Something To Look Forward To
I mentioned in a recent posting that we're back to teaching again. A local gym - The Weight Club - has decided to take on the BodyPump program. We've been practicing for our official launch, which is coming up soon (the first week in May). This is one thing we feel really good about because we know that in some small way it gives us an opportunity to bring something positive to our community. From what we've heard, many members at The Weight Club are really looking forward to having BodyPump classes available to them. I know we sure are looking forward to teaching again.

Finally, here's a short bit of video I'd like to offer up - this was the closing speaker at the memorial yesterday afternoon. If you've got a couple minutes, watch the whole thing - especially the crowd's reaction at the very end. I think it sums up why we love this community so much.

3 Comment(s):
On 18 April, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

my thoughts and prayers are with you and your community. what a tragic event - but i know the Hokies will rally - they always do!

 
On 18 April, 2007, Blogger sunflower32161 said...

Tami and Craig and all the people of Blacksburg~

My heart goes out to you. I have already sent you guys a personal note, but wanted to do so again here. It's funny, but it's YOU who put Blacksburg on the map for me! I didn't really know of the town much before I "met" you two here in your blog. So when I heard of the tragedy unfolding, I immediately thought of you and your community and how this would touch you.

It IS a tragedy. It will bring focus on your community for awhile, and in some ways will always be associated with this tragedy, but I know that it won't be the only thing. Especially after watching the speaker at the memorial you posted, it's obvious that your community will survive and thrive and be known for more than this.

To get through it? well, it is just like any other life tragedy....you take it one step at a time, one day at a time, and with prayer and support, you will find healing.

As this has hit your town and touches you personally, I understand the shock and sadness in a similar way like when it hit in my own back yard in Littleton, Co. There are always comparisons to other events like this, but it is still a nightmare all by itself.

I send out my deepest sympathies to those involved.

As for your other news, I am very excited for you guys as you start up your pumping at the new club. I clicked on the link and it looks like a nice place! Have fun with your launch! Turn it up and be heard!! Just what everyone needs to work through all the emotions of something like the recent events. Let us know how it goes!

All the best,
your new friend and fellow pumper!
Niki

 
On 21 April, 2007, Blogger Spider63 said...

Keep doing good work for the people and ministry there, it all counts.

 

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