BLACKSBURG – Three years after the fatal shooting that claimed the lives of 32 students and faculty members, hundreds of members of the Virginia Tech community gathered for a candle lighting ceremony early this morning.
The candle lighting was held at the Virginia Tech Memorial on the drillfield and in front of Burruss Hall.
Those in attendance visited each of the 32 memorial stones before the event began. Afterwards, Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets asked everyone to move behind a rope, as the lighting ceremony began.
While the candle was being lit, two buglers played “Taps” on opposite sides of the drillfield. Two soldiers stood guard beside the candle, as visitors were allowed to re-enter the memorial area and pay tribute to their fallen comrades.
The event was the first in a long list of activities planned to commemorate the anniversary of the shootings. A 3.2-mile run, community picnic, and slideshow are just a few of the other events that will take place across campus today.
A final commemorative ceremony will be held tonight at 7:30 p.m. The flame lit on Friday morning will be extinguished at 11:59 p.m. tonight.