Governor names April 16 'Virginia Tech Remembrance Day'

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RICHMOND (WSLS 10) - On Wednesday, Governor Terry McAuliffe declared April 16, 2016 as "Virginia Tech Remembrance Day" in honor of those who were killed or injured during a mass shooting at the university on April 16, 2007.

"We will stop on April 16 not only to remember the horror of that day and those we lost too soon, but also to recall the good that was done that day as first responders rushed to prevent further loss of life, fellow students and staff helped protect and comfort one another, and the community was lifted up by the good will that poured in from every corner of the globe," Governor McAuliffe said in a press release. "While we will never forget the tragedy of April 16, 2007, we will honor the victims by also remembering the light that came out of the darkness. We must also build on the progress we've made in Virginia, ensuring this type of tragedy never happens again."

First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe added, "April 16 will serve as a memorial and a day of remembrance for all. It's important to acknowledge this day and honor the victims, the survivors and their families, and the strength and resilience of the entire Virginia Tech community."

At 9:43 a.m., the bell at the Capitol Square Bell Tower will ring for each of the 32 victims, followed by a moment of silence. The Governor ordered the state flag flown at half-staff on all local, state and federal buildings in the Commonwealth throughout the day in honor of the victims, their families and the entire Virginia Tech community.

Governor McAuliffe encouraged those who want to get involved to donate blood during the 2016 Day of Remembrance Blood Drive, which will be held from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, April 15, 2016, at the Virginia Tech Richmond Center, 2810 North Parham Road, 3rd Floor in Richmond. The 2016 Day of Remembrance Blood Drive is being sponsored by the Virginia Tech Alumni Association Richmond Chapter. To register or get more information, visit https://vadonor.org/Portal or www.vablood.org.

Information about Day of Remembrance activities in the Blacksburg area can be found at http://www.weremember.vt.edu/.

Read the full text of the governor's proclamation is below:

WHEREAS, on the morning of April 16, 2007, a senseless and incomprehensible tragedy struck the campus of Virginia Tech; and

WHEREAS, the lives of 32 members of the Virginia Tech community were stolen without warning, creating voids in the hearts and minds of friends and family who feel their absence to this day; and

WHEREAS, we recognize and thank local, state, and federal first responders who courageously answered the call of duty in an effort to prevent further loss of life, and who continued to care for the Blacksburg community in the aftermath; and

WHEREAS, the Virginia Center for School and Campus Safety continues to review and strengthen security practices in all of Virginia's educational institutions and on all campuses, building upon the good work that has been done in the Commonwealth to prevent future tragedies; and

WHEREAS, in honor of all those killed or injured on April 16, 2007, we will never forget them and we commit ourselves to doing all we can to protect our students, educators, and schools, and to keep all Virginia communities safe; and

WHEREAS, the Blacksburg community, and the entire Commonwealth join with those from across the country and around the world in their thoughts and prayers to remember and honor the cherished memories and heroism of those who lost their lives, and those who were wounded nine years ago; and

WHEREAS, we are all Hokies today;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Terence R. McAuliffe, do hereby recognize April 16, 2016, as VIRGINIA TECH REMEMBRANCE DAY in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.