The massacre at Virginia Tech on Monday is a tragedy felt on the Blacksburg campus, across the country, and even around the globe. Everywhere, viewers have sent us their thoughts and reactions. Here are some of your e-mails.
Two of my kids went to Virginia Tech. One graduated last year. The news is hitting too close to home. I just wanted to say Virginia Tech is the kind of place that once you go there. It's in your blood forever. My kids loved it there. And as a parent couldn't have felt safer for my kids to be there. If this tragedy could happen there it could happen anywhere. My prayers go out to all involved.
Julie (Annapolis, Md)
Thank you for your respectful and heartfelt coverage of the shootings at Virginia Tech. You have a presence of calm and comfort. I can't imagine going through all the interviews and fact finding and not being deeply grieved. I have been and will be praying for you. I pray that you will be comforted in whatever way God knows you need at this time.
Veta (Austin, Texas)
I am a proud Virginia Tech alumni and now a resident ("local") of Blacksburg, Virginia. As I sit hear and type this I am listening to the news coverage in the background and the endless sadness that is being heard throughout not only my beautiful community but as well as our nation as a whole. As a huge fan and watcher of your show I am asking that when you portray this story on your morning news tomorrow to remember to be sure to let people know that this is an amazing, beautiful town with a strong community that will get through this. It makes me so sad to hear people question the safety of my home. This place is an amazing place that will now be tainted because of one sick and senseless individual. I moved here from Long Island 14 years ago to attend this unbelievable institution. I have never looked back and obviously never went back. Blacksburg, Virginia as well as Virginia Tech is such peaceful, quaint area that has now been left with such a gut wrenching wound. I beg you to remember to let the rest world see just what our community is really like. This will not define who or what we are and stand for. Obviously it is going to be an uphill battle from here to get the world to see us for something other then this disgusting act and I hope that you all can help our community to let the world around us see the amazing place Virginia Tech and Blacksburg Virginia truly is.
Allison Jaffe Haynes (Blacksburg, VA)
In the midst of the Virginia Tech tragedy and all of the publicity I deeply appreciated the interview Meredith Vieira had with the some of the RA staff. As a retired Assistant Director of Housing at another university that interview spoke volumes about the love and caring generated among RA staff.
As an American and a Virginian, I plan to wear Virginia Tech's colors to show support for the school community. Just a couple of ribbons pinned to my clothing in maroon and orange will send a message that America grieves with them; because today, I feel as though all of us are Hokies and Virginia Tech is everyone's campus. I hope you will do the same. Thanks so much.
I think the focus of the reporting on his terrible tragedy needs to focus on the many things which were done correctly. I have been so impressed with the interview with the president, the demeanor of the students and how articulate the student body has been.
The' would have, could have, should have' people were not in the situation at the time. I am pleased the concern was for 26,000 students moving onto and throughout the campus. As a mom of former university students, I think the 2 hour e-mail was very fast response. Initially it was important not to turn tragedy into chaos.
If I was choosing a university for my kids today, Virginia Tech would sure rank high on my list because of how they have, and are handling this tragedy.
Please focus on the positive and compassionate aspects of the events. We do not need more criticism by people who did not have the responsibility for the immediate decisions. There will be lots of time for analysis. That should not occur on speculation and fragmented information, opinion and emotion.
There is so much about what was done right to report. Please do not fuel the 'moment of glory mentality' of the would be copy cats. This is a time for support and caring by everyone.
Pat Smith (Burgessville, Ontario, Canada)
Dear TODAY Show,
I am a senior at Virginia Tech and have been watching the NBC coverage of our tragic shooting. I am still in shock and unable to adequately express in words how this situation has impacted me, my school, and the entire Blacksburg community. I am thankful for your support and feel your media coverage is, for the most part, accurate and well intentioned but I am increasingly angered at the attacks on our President Charles Steger and the Virginia Tech Police Department.
I firmly believe that they acted in our best interest and have not, even for a second, doubted their methodology or procedure. The reporters keep questioning why there was a 2 hour delay between the first shooting and notification to the students and I truly believe that the officials in charge thought it was a contained, domestic dispute. No one could ever predict the insane actions of a killer. I want to make it very clear that Virginia Tech students support our President and Police department. I have lived in Blacksburg for 4 years now, 2 of them in West AJ as a matter of fact, and have nothing but confidence and pride in our university officials. They did the very best with the information they had and, after witnessing them in action in various situations throughout my collegiate career, I know they always act in the best interest of the students.
Rather than scrutinize the past, now is a time to reflect on the wonderful people we have lost in this tragic incident. The media coverage dissecting “what went wrong” yesterday is not relevant and misguided. Our school has lost 32 incredible individuals. Lets not focus on pointing fingers, but rather on those that were lost and the family and friends that continue to hold them close to our hearts.
Emma Van Hook
Dear Matt, Meredith, and all at the Today Show,
Meredith Vieira’s statement that the Virginia Tech story is heartbreaking is how I feel too. I have a teen who will be going to college soon. After all of these horrible school shootings, we as parents have the right to demand higher security for our innocent children. What about security cameras and a central monitor. Clearly after the first shooting on Monday, at Virginia Tech. We should have been able to save the other victims. What can we all do to prevent this horror from our children’s futures?
Caren Zuckierman (Roslyn, NY)
I am very upset watching the interviews on the show this morning. There is a time to learn from what has happened but it is not today. The woman who
was interviewed about the school safety issue is needlessly critical and angry. None of us, including her, can possibly prepare for this kind of
tragedy. Please, lets allow ourselves and more importantly, the families and friends of the people we lost, to heal the fear and pain that we are
suffering and not try to replace these emotions with anger. If we want an answer to how things like this happens, that is our answer. When anger
overwhelms the emotions that can be healed, we end up with violence.
My heart and prayers go out to the families of the students and faculty that were hurt in yesterdays' senseless shootings. I cannot help but wonder WHY do all these senseless tragedy's happen about this time of year. The shootings at the school in Texas, Waco Texas, Oklahoma Federal Building and Columbine? These are horrible events that happened on different years but the same week. I have two daughters that will be in college this year and I am so concerned now for their safety.
Yesterday was a world of heartbreak. Waking up to the horrific news of a shooting at Virginia Tech. I watched and listened throughout the day as the
number of victims grew. I felt a deep sense of concern for the students and their families, and at the same time trying to grasp such an incomprehensible event. I think when something this catastrophic occurs, everyone immediately looks for someone to blame. Maybe there were many things they should have done
differently; maybe the dorms should have been inaccessible, maybe there should be a campus-wide entercom, maybe the police should have identified
the shooter earlier, or maybe our true resentment resides in the fact that we should even have to prepare for such a catastrophe. Wanting someone, anyone to pay for this wicked act cannot repair the damage that was done. Afterall there is one and only one person who should be held responsible for yesterday's tragedy and he has taken his own life. This misfortune has followed my generation for most of our youth. Elementry, Junior High, High School, and now even college. "College" the days when we are suppose to be adults, coming into our own, and leaving all the pettiness behind us. IT'S ENOUGH! It is a sad day when you have to fear getting an education. I want to express compassion for the vitims, their families, and all the students at Virginia Tech. Also I encourage my generation reach out to those effected by this and that we finally come together as ONE to put this to an end.
Jasmine Lowe (Malibu, CA)
Dear Today Show,
We could argue for years about changes in gun laws and safety on campuses nationwide and still never come close to preventing such tragedies from occurring. What is so sad to me is that we, as a nation, have succeeded in creating a social environment in which our young people become so desperate, hopeless and angry that they see violence and drugs as the only way out. The pain in this country runs deep, yet, even in this age of ever-growing acceptance, we shut our eyes to the underlying problems in America. Maybe the hippies of old had it right, after all.
Sarah Macfarlane (Pittsburgh, PA)
As a recent graduate of Auburn University, I cannot imagine how horrifying this whole experience must be for every student, teacher and administrator at Virginia Tech. As I watched the coverage for hours yesterday I realized events such as this one could happen on any campus, at any time. My heart goes out to everyone who lost someone or was hurt in Monday’s terrible tragedy. I cannot imagine the fear and the pain the students must now live with. College is supposed to be the best time of your life. You are supposed to be able to look back on these years and smile. For the students of Virginia Tech, their memories will forever be tarnished by this massacre. At every football game, campus event and graduation to come, this day will forever be on the minds of students and alumni. No one knows why these things happen or why they happen where they do. There maybe “warning signs”, but we cannot predict the future and what will take place. All we can do is learn from these tragic events and do our best to get through them. We may be rivals on the football field, but the Hokies will always find an Auburn Tiger friend in their time of need. We are praying for all the victims and their families.
God Bless Virginia Tech
Jessica Kennedy (Birmingham, AL)
Dear Today Show,
I can't tell you how sickened I am about this senseless tragedy. It's hard to fathom a human being thinking so selfishly to take the lives of innocent people. I think it is great how not just communities in Virginia but also nation wide, come together whether it's at there own school or university or family sitting around the television watching this horrible curse unfold. One of the concerns I have is this: this kind of tragic event has happened before and it seems to always come back to the student(s) being "loners" or being picked on so terribly in school they have this urge to make others suffer as they are. So it seems as if these students crave the attention no matter what the circumstances or consequences are. So here's my thinking: what better way to gain attention then to do something so horrifying, you and your actions are posted and smeared all over the news and media. I believe schools and universities should have more programs available for students who are so depressed and feel as if they have nothing else to live for. Maybe even try to watch out for signs in students and their behaviors that may trigger some of these feelings and acts. After all, it's not until something tragic happens that the school or university REALLY come together and state that they are really there for their students.
Jenni Renken (Peoria, Illinois)
Share your own thoughts and stories by sending us your comments.