April 16th. I have come to hate this day. I hate it because it forces me to re-live that week in 2007. I have been able to repress it all year and not even think of it. I can enjoy getting ready to graduate, and I can enjoy preparing for our wedding, but once this day came around everything else stopped in my mind and I can only think of that week.
I remember the nervous laughter sometimes heard around the campus, followed by the silence once everything began to set in. The campus was just flooded with media trucks and people shoving microphones in our faces. Some of the media was sympathetic and respected our privacy, others were just looking for that story. I was insulted by two of the worst.
I remember the colorful posters with words of sadness and those of inspiration for the rest of us, set around the campus. I remember the trees surrounding the drillfield displayed a single orange ribbon tied around each trunk. I remember the walls of Squires Student Center were completely covered with messages from schools around the world. I remember students crowded around computers in the hours and days after it happened--looking for people they knew on the list of those that had passed. Most of all, I remember the night Ben found out his engineering teacher was one of them.
That week people were wearing orange, maroon, and black. Families came to be with their kids, so the campus was filled. Funerals were held in every Blacksburg church multiple times a day by the weekend. People were on the campus offering free massages, free bibles, multiple booths set up where you could just talk to someone.
These are things I will never forget. And while I'm only 31 days away from graduating, I have to remember that many of them were, too.