Using my perogative as CRG Coordinator and primary site maintainer, I've taken a slightly unusual step - which I believe is warranted - in adding a temporary gesture of solidarity to the main CRG page. This will be a very rare thing and has never been done before by us for an off-topic issue, though in hindsight I should have done this at least one other time. I did not even do this after 9/11 - but I was overseas when that happened and afterwards I think I was still in too much shock to be creative enough to realize that I should have done something then with the site.
This has personally affected me in ways I did not expect and am still discovering. I took my master's in Engineering Mechanics from the ESM department of VT in 1981-82. I still know and am in occasional touch with some of the faculty, as well as a number of alums that I see as a result of my professional career. My little research assistant "office" was just inside and to the right of the bottom floor entrance to Norris Hall, adjacent to the doors that you've seen on TV that appear behind the emergency crews carrying out the injured and the dead. The entire building is now closed and will remain a crime scene for a number of days yet - but the department is pulling itself together, moving to temporary quarters, and the university is reopening come Monday. Of the five faculty killed two were from the ESM department. Amazingly, no ESM students lost their lives, due to the timing of class scheduling and because Prof Librescu http://www.esm.vt.edu/php/person.php?id=10023
, aware that something bad was going down in the building, sacrificed his life to hold his classroom door shut while most of his students escaped out the windows. His grip on the door failed only after he was shot in the head through the door. There are other acts of heroism, both large and small, that will eventually come to the surface.
The Hokie Nation will survive. But this time is, for them. in the words to me of one of my former profs - "hell on the brains and emotions for all of us".
Your thoughts and prayers for those affected are greatly appreciated.