A small group of students gathered in Kogan Plaza Wednesday evening to commemorate the 33 people who died in the Virginia Tech shooting two years ago.
Candles glowed in the outline of the Virginia Tech logo as Student Association President-elect Julie Bindelglass spoke at the SA-sponsored ceremony, calling the event an opportunity to “stand in solidarity with students across the country” and a time for “peaceful reflection.”
Newly appointed SA Director of Multi-Religious Affairs Behnam Ben Taleblu led a nondenominational prayer with those in attendance before students were invited to pay their respects silently.
While most students chose to reflect quietly, some individuals were driven to address the group about the importance of the event.
“Some of my friends from Virginia had friends who died,” said Monica Sanchez, a junior, adding that it brought the tragedy close to home.
SA Rules Committee Chair-elect Jamie Baker said this event was particularly important to him, noting that three of the students who died were resident assistants in the school’s residence halls.
“I was an RA for three years, and it really makes you realize that life is too short,” said Baker, a graduate student.
Despite the small showing, those who were present appreciated the time to reflect and pay their respects.
SA Sen. Michelle Tanney, CPS-G, said, “This event was a reflection of solidarity, and it shows the GW community and other universities that it’s important to stick together and recall events of the past in an attempt to learn and prepare for the future.”