Thanks for thoughts on VA Tech tragedy

Published 3:39 pm Thursday, April 26, 2007

Just a few words of commendation for your sympathetic and thoughtful editorial on the Virginia Tech tragedy in the April 18 edition. It was timely and helpful in our collective efforts in healing the serious wounds inflicted on the higher education field, in general and to the very proud Virgina Tech community of faculty, students, staff and alumni, in particular.

Your editorial put in perspective on how we should deal with such a shocking event and how we can start a process of finding ways to prevent further tragedies like the one in Blacksburg, Va. Gun control is not the answer, neither is blaming the fine Virginia Tech administration for not locking-down the school.

One final word about the Virginia Tech nickname of “The Hokies.” My daughter Kate, a proud Virginia Tech graduate, tells me it derives from a non-sensical cheer used by the then all male cadet corps student body in the 1950s when the university was known as VPI. It goes something like this: “Hokie, Hokie Hi, we’re the boys from VPI.” The cadet corps represents today a small fraction of the now 26,000 strong student body. The alumni association has placed a single wreath in the campus chapel and the Corps of Cadets has posted an honor guard to symbolize the solidarity of the Virginia Tech community in its determination to find ways to recover from this terrible event. “Let’s Go, Hokies!”

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Mike Gemmell

Natchez residen