Candlelight vigil, 3.2-Mile Run in Remembrance highlight 2022 Day of Remembrance
“Virginia Tech will never forget the 32 members of our community who were taken from us in 2007,” said Debbie Day, associate vice president for alumni relations. “We will forever honor their lives and support those families and others affected by this tragedy. We also take this opportunity to gather as a community deeply committed to one another. Because so many Hokies were affected by this tragedy, it is so important for us to turn to each other for strength and support.”
On Saturday, April 16, the Day of Remembrance will begin, as in previous years, at 12:01 a.m. with the ceremonial candle lighting at the April 16 Memorial, located in front of Burruss Hall on Drillfield Drive. Members of the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets will stand in watch for the first 32 minutes of the day and the candle will remain lit for 24 hours.
At 8:30 a.m., a brief wreath-laying ceremony will be held at the April 16 Memorial. Student members of the Virginia Tech Rescue Squad will carry wreaths to the memorial which will then be placed by Virginia Tech President Tim Sands and Laura Sands, and Executive Vice President and Provost Cyril Clarke.
At 9:43 a.m., the 3.2-Mile Run in Remembrance, an annual event that has attracted thousands of walkers, joggers, and competitive runners to campus since 2008, will begin rain or shine on the Drillfield near War Memorial Gym. The event, which will start with a moment of silence and takes participants across campus and into Lane Stadium, will finish near the April 16 Memorial.
Preregistration for this event is strongly encouraged; visit the Department of Recreational Sports website for registration and event information.
At 2 p.m., an interfaith service will be held at War Memorial Chapel that is open to the public. Seating for this event will begin at 1:30 p.m. No late entries will be permitted once the service begins and no photography or video recording equipment is permitted.
At 7:30 p.m., a candlelight vigil will be held on the Drillfield in front of the April 16 Memorial. In addition to brief remarks, the names of the 32 individuals who died on April 16, 2007, will be read aloud to honor and remember their lives. Participants are asked to bring their own candles and to discard them safely. Cell phone lights may be used.
The 2022 Day of Remembrance will end when the ceremonial candle is extinguished at 11:59 p.m. Members of the Corps of Cadets will again stand in watch for 32 minutes prior to the extinguishing, and the candle will be carried back into Burruss Hall, representing the university’s commitment to never forget.
From April 11 to 22, the exhibit, “The Words of Children,” will feature items sent to the university following the events of April 16, 2007 from children all over the world. These items, selected from the April 16, 2007, Condolence Archives, held by Virginia Tech Special Collections and University Archives, will be on display on the second floor of Newman Library.
Also, beginning on April 11, a digital exhibit will be presented and include images of artifacts and recordings of memories of those affected by tragedy collected in the April 16, 2007, Oral History Collection.
Several other university events, including the spring football game (kickoff is 4 p.m.) will be held on April 16. Area first responders will be honored at the Virginia Tech baseball game vs. Miami and at the softball game vs. Virginia, both games starting at 2 p.m. on the Blacksburg campus. Members of the Virginia Tech Police Department will throw out the ceremonial first pitch at each game.
Parking and transportation information is posted online to help those attending any event that weekend. Please visit that website for the latest information on parking, road closures, and related information.
In addition to events in Blacksburg, many Virginia Tech alumni chapters will host events or runs in their communities. Information will be posted on the We Remember website as details are confirmed.
Event logistics are being managed by an implementation committee composed of university staff from service departments across campus and coordinated by Kelly McCann through the Office of Alumni Relations.