But the 10,000-seat Cassell Coliseum was jampacked midday Tuesday with mourners, young ones wearing spirited garb unusual for a memorial: orange and maroon T-shirts, school colors in honor of their lost fellow students, the sense of peace lost from this idyllic valley.
Citing the biblical Job and his struggle to understand suffering, Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) told the crowd that violence-weary people around the world are watching Blacksburg.
"As you wrestle with despair, do not lose hold of that spirit of community you have," he said, asking mourners to help the victims' families and react in a way that will benefit people watching. "The world needs you to."
Playing the Blame Game -- Who Is to Blame for Blacksburg?
Just observe much of the media coverage surrounding the Virginia Tech killer and his murderous slaughter. Some quickly moved to assign blame to the university's administration and police department. There will no doubt be a thorough review of both in the future, but they are not to blame for the killings. We must blame the killer.
Other commentators and theorists attempted to place the blame on society as a whole, on the young man's parents, or on his generation. The theorists of the therapeutic culture have rushed to argue that a stigma against mentally ill persons drives some to heinous acts of violence, and thus this stigma is to blame. Still others try to blame guns, grades, or any number of other factors -- anything and anyone but the murderer.