Collective day of mourning for victims

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Collective day of mourning for victims

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<b>Suzanne Goldenberg in Washington
Saturday April 21, 2007</b>
<a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/usguns/Story/0,,2062300,00.html">The Guardian</a>

Americans united in a collective day of mourning for the victims of the campus massacre yesterday, with church services and vigils from Capitol Hill to California.
Yesterday&#39;s solemnities were centred on a moment of silence for the dead across the state of Virginia at noon after the governor, Tim Kaine, declared a day of mourning. Forty other states held vigils for the dead at the same time. "This has touched the globe," Mr Kaine told a memorial service . "The universality that we all suffer, we all grieve, has touched hearts around the world."

The sombreness of the day was deepened by the knowledge that it was the anniversary of another school shooting - of 13 students and one teacher at Colorado&#39;s Columbine high school in 1999.

After days spent trying to decipher the motives behind Cho Seung-hui&#39;s rampage, which left 32 dead before he turned the gun on himself, yesterday was given over to the victims.

On the grassy expanse called the Drill Field at the heart of Virginia Tech campus, just outside Norris Hall, where Cho killed all but two of his victims, church bells tolled as students and professors gathered on a sunny day. Almost all the mourners wore the school colours of orange and maroon as they drew close to the makeshift memorial on the grass, a semi-circle of stones surrounding large placards covered with handwritten tributes to the dead, large wreaths and humble bouquets of flowers.

Elsewhere in Virginia, bells chimed for each of Cho&#39;s victims at an interfaith memorial at Virginia Commonwealth University. "The thing that matters most today is to remember the friends and families of those who lost loved ones," Virginia&#39;s lieutenant governor, Bill Bolling, said.

There were services at Washington&#39;s national cathedral, as well as a moment of silence in the House of Representatives. In Santa Monica, California, Virginia Tech alumni were scheduled to hold a memorial service later in the day.

The first of Cho&#39;s victims was also buried yesterday in the Israeli town of Raanana, not far from Tel Aviv. Liviu Librescu, 76, was an expert on aerospace engineering and had taught at the university for more than 20 years. As a child in Romania, the professor had survived the Holocaust. On Monday, he was shot while shielding students from the gunman.

Virginia&#39;s coroner has yet to complete the identification and examination of all the bodies so that they can be released.

However, some families have held small memorial ceremonies. Private services were held in Virginia on Thursday for Waleed Mohammed Shaalan, 32, an Egyptian who was pursuing a doctorate in engineering. He was married with a one-year-old son; his PhD supervisor was also among the dead.

There were also services in Virginia for Partahi Lumbantoruan, 34, a teacher in his native Indonesia whose family sold land and cars for his tuition at the university. He came from a military family and was pursuing a doctorate in civil engineering.

<B>On Guardian Unlimited</B><BR><A HREF="http://www.guardian.co.uk/usa/virginiashooting/">Full coverage of the Virginia Tech shootings</A><BR><A HREF="http://www.guardian.co.uk/usguns/0,,182056,00.html">Gun violence in the US</A><BR><A HREF="http://www.guardian.co.uk/gun/0,,178412,00.html">Gun violence in Britain</A><BR><A HREF="http://www.guardian.co.uk/usa/0,,759893,00.html">Full US coverage</A><BR><BR><B>Related articles</B><BR><A HREF="http://www.guardian.co.uk/usguns/Story/0,,2059217,00.html">Virginia massacre gunman named</A><BR><A HREF="http://www.guardian.co.uk/usa/story/0,,2059103,00.html">Unofficial list of shooting victims emerges</A><BR><A HREF="http://www.guardian.co.uk/usa/story/0,,2058887,00.html">Massacre on campus</A><BR><A HREF="http://www.guardian.co.uk/usa/story/0,,2059250,00.html">Q&A: US gun laws</A><BR><BR><B>World news guide</B><BR><A HREF="http://www.guardian.co.uk/worldnewsguide/northamerica/0,,618255,00.html">North American Media</A><BR><BR><B>Media</B><BR><A HREF="http://edition.cnn.com/">CNN</A><BR><A HREF="http://www.nytimes.com/">New York Times</A><BR><A HREF="http://www.washingtonpost.com/">Washington Post</A><BR><BR><B>Government</B><BR><A HREF="http://www.state.va.us/cmsportal2/">Virginia state government portal</A><BR><A HREF="http://www.usa.gov/">US government portal</A><BR><A HREF="http://www.whitehouse.gov/">White House</A><BR><A HREF="http://www.senate.gov/">Senate</A><BR><A HREF="http://www.house.gov/">House of Representatives</A>

Copyright Guardian News & Media Ltd 2007.
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Original Source:<a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/usguns/Story/0,,2062300,00.html">http://www.guardian.co.uk/usguns/Story/0,,2062300,00.html</a>

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Staff:Suzanne Goldenberg

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2007-08-10

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Adriana Seagle

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In consideration of the fee of GBP 0.00 ("the Fee") Guardian News & Media Limited ("GNM") grants the Licensee the right to: publish on its website for 10 years.
Contact: EveThompson;permissions.syndication@guardian.co.uk

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Staff:Suzanne Goldenberg, "Collective day of mourning for victims," in The April 16 Archive, Item #989, http://www.april16archive.org/items/show/989 (accessed December 22, 2014).