A year later (written on the first anniversary by an Alum)


A year later (written on the first anniversary by an Alum)


Jay Pittman


Jay Pittman


You are contributing your stories and/or files to The April 16 Archive, which is developing a permanent digital record of the events surrounding the tragedy on the Virginia Tech campus on April 16, 2007. Your participation in this project will allow future researchers, and people such as yourself, to gain a greater understanding of these events and the responses to them.



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A year ago was the sound – the piercing shriek that split the silence.

In the midst of its stunning noise, even though we were far from its source that day, we stood still, mouths agape and minds blank – living for unimaginable lifetimes within the scream all around. Waiting to hear.

Today is the first of many echoes. No matter what the emotion of today, it will be diminished...much diminished from the original.

But the force of the scream was great, and the return waves will echo back across the valleys with unerring accuracy and terrific power.

The echoes will come today, and they will come again in years not yet imagined. They will wash over the gray stones forever, but with less vigor each time.

Many stones were broken by the shriek. Some of the stones there may even be broken from the force of the echo, but some of them will be worn smooth from the washing.

Look to the smooth stones for strength.



Jay Pittman, “A year later (written on the first anniversary by an Alum),” The April 16 Archive, accessed November 28, 2015, http://www.april16archive.org/items/show/2869.