Virginia Tech April 16th, 2007 Remembered.

One year ago today 32 people were murdered at the hands of a madman. Thirty two students and faculty; both seekers and providers of knowledge. All full of potential, achievement, and promise. They did nothing wrong that day except chase their dreams. Their only crime was to follow those dreams with action and they died for it.
We Remember VT
As a VT alumni who spends upwards of 30 days on campus each year despite having graduated 7 years ago, the news hurt me. I cannot imagine the devastation it caused families.

This site is a side-business for me. The same lessons and values I learned at VT, that the 32 were experiencing that day, are the ones that prompted me to create a company to help local business leaders chase and implement their dreams. Since that day I have not been very active on this site or running my web design company – I simply didn’t have the stomach for creativity after receiving the email pasted below.

Hello Select Content Producers:

I’m reaching out to you as the CEO of Associated Content – with the hope of populating Associated Content with quality news stories about the tragedy at Virginia Tech. Our records show that you might have some past or present connection to the school.

So, if you have commentary on this topic, or even better, a first hand report about the tragedy at Virginia Tech, please login to your AC account and submit the news you may have. I want to see if our Content Producers can provide quality coverage of this event.

Please go to https://publish.associatedcontent.com/cms_edit.shtml, login and select the “News Item” template. We’ll make minimum payments of $20 dollars for this special call for content. Please email me directly with your name and the title of your submission, should you submit -so I can be sure it is processed immediately.

Thanks for helping us get this important news content,
-Luke

Luke Beatty
CEO
88 Steele Street, Suite 250

You see, Associated Content would pay me $20 to write about this senseless act of violence, this heart-wrenching rampage and they in turn would place advertisements on that content and profit.

It made me absolutely sick.

So sick I didn’t want to write or produce or chase dreams at all. In short, I wrote one reflection post, stopped pursuing my dreams because of a madman and an asshole profiteer. I realize now that my reaction should have been completely the opposite.

32 lives – mostly students, were cut down before they had a chance to implement their dreams. We will never be able to bring them back. We may not be able to prevent the next tragedy or even the one after that. What we can do is live our dreams instead of just talking about them. If not for our own sake, then for the sake of those who can no longer aspire to great things.

If any of this resonates with you, I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. If you would like to share your VT memories on the tragedy, please share them on the We Remember Virginia Tech page. I won’t be paying you $20 like Mr. Beatty tried. But I promise not to try and profiteer off of your experience either.

P.S. The official Virginia Tech Memorial page is here.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Erin April 16, 2008 at 9:30 am

That picture on the VT Memorial homepage is incredibly powerful. I didn’t realize how many people had come out (with candles) to mourn. It’s an amazing image.

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Charlotte Web Development December 28, 2011 at 11:08 am

Thanks, Erin!

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Lisa April 16, 2008 at 11:07 am

The Libraries at Virginia Tech are creating a digital archive for materials related to the April 16 events. http://scholar.lib.vt.edu/prevail/

Click “browse” to see images of some of the items here:
http://scholar.lib.vt.edu/416_archive/

There was also an article about the archive in CNN http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/04/15/tech.archive/index.html

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Charlotte Web Development December 28, 2011 at 11:08 am

Thanks for the additional item, Lisa!

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Jim SQ April 16, 2008 at 11:51 am

great job Ted… There was a front page article on CNN.com yesterday about a guy that felt so racially discriminated against (he was Korean) at VT after the shootings he ended up taking his own life. The article was worthless, but if you read all the comments (there were many) it really gave you a sense of how VT students feel about how their school is being portrayed in the media. Very insightful. Unfortunately there is going to be an anniversary every year, and we are going to get mostly news about lawsuits etc coming out of Blacksburg instead of just allowing the student body to heal in their own way.

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Charlotte Web Development December 28, 2011 at 11:09 am

Jim, yes, it’s sad. But it’s how the media gets paid.

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