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Mourners gather to support victims from Virginia


Students on campuses across the nation held ceremonies to honor the victims of the Virginia Tech massacre.
More than 200 U of M students gathered late Thursday morning. They stood on the south side of Coffman Union. Hundreds lined up to sign large plastic banners that declared "Today We Are All Hokies," a reference to the nickname of Virginia Tech's athletic teams. The mourners observed a moment of silence for the 32 people shot to death Monday. The gathering also included several speakers who asked for unity with the victims and survivors. A few of the speakers mentioned Wednesday's bomb scare at the U of M, which shut down eight U buildings and left students, faculty and many others a little uneasy. Vice Provost for student affairs, Jerry Rinehart commented that, "We're open communities and vulnerable to violence." Pastor of University Baptist Church, the Rev. Douglas Donley, closed the vigil with these words: "We're here to share our grief, our confusion, our rage and our compassion …
"Say the names: Oklahoma City, Columbine, University of Texas-Austin, Kent State, Jackson State, Red Lake, Waco, Sept. 11. And now Virginia Tech will join the litany."

Both the Pioneer Press and Star Tribune covered the vigils and memorials. The Star Tribune article was much more encompassing of the nation-wide ceremonies. The Pioneer Press’s story was only four paragraphs long and focused Virginia Gov. Timothy Kaine’s request for a day of morning and Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s request that Minnesota churches ring their bells at 11:00 am.

Click the title for the Star Tribune story or ...

Click here for the Pioneer Press