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Expressions of Remembrance: Artifacts, condolence items from 2007 to be displayed April 8-16

March 28, 2017

Signing boards on the Drillfield.
Virginia Tech community members sign boards that were placed on the Drillfield the week after April 16, 2007. Several boards will be on display during the 2017 Day of Remembrance events.

As part of Virginia Tech’s annual observance of its Day of Remembrance, condolence items and artifacts received by the university in the days that followed April 16, 2007, will be displayed at several locations across campus.

The displays are among several “Expressions of Remembrance” that will be located in Newman Library, Squires Student Center, Moss Arts Center, and Holtzman Alumni Center; they are free and open to the public.

“Beginning on the evening of April 16, 2007, when the student group known as Hokies United set up the first memorial on the Drillfield in front of Burruss Hall — Virginia Tech received more than 90,000 condolence items from individuals and organizations from all 50 states and 80 countries,” said University Archivist Tamara Kennelly. “Taken all together, it showed a grief-stricken Virginia Tech community that the world supported us.”

From origami cranes and creative expressions of poetry, music, and handcrafted items, to banners, posters, memorabilia, and books of condolences to cards, letters, signs, and other handwritten items — these pieces were collected with care by Kennelly and others at the university and became the April 16 Condolence Archives.

Now housed in Newman Library, many of these items were digitally photographed for preservation and to share with the world. A large portion of the Condolence Archives is now publicly available online.

Each year, in observance of the Day of Remembrance, University Libraries at Virginia Tech displays materials from the April 16 Condolence Archives and invites the community to reflect and remember.

This year, the following displays will be available:

Sending you all our love

The exhibit will include materials received from other colleges and universities, as well as some of the large white boards and signs created on the Drillfield the week of April 16, 2007. Additional items include flags, t-shirts, and condolence books, and a quilt from the Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance at State University of New York College at New Paltz. The exhibit title came from one of the quilt squares, each of which was made by a SUNY student.

This display can be seen April 8-16 in the Old Dominion Ball Room in Squires Student Center. Specific hours can be found on the We Remember website.

Quilts and items of support
Quilts and other items that were sent in support in the days following April 16, 2007 will be on display during the 2017 Day of Remembrance events.

Remembering those lost: Selections from the April 16, 2007 Condolence Archives

Artifacts include flags flown over the Statue of Liberty and at Tikrit Air Academy in Iraq by soldiers during Operation Iraqi Freedom; Farham Aboussali’s painting Ceremonial Eternity; Carol Davis’ 32 hand-decorated eggs; Marilyn Rogge’s painting of a child releasing a red balloon; a KoKeshi Doll from the U.S. Navy Fleet Activities, Yokosuka, Japan; and some of the paper cranes received.

This display will be held April 8-16 at Newman Library Special Collections (first floor). Specific hours can be found on the We Remember website.

A community of learners, a legacy of achievement

A selection of books will be displayed to honor of the students and faculty lost on April 16, 2007.

This display will be held April 8-16 at Newman Library Learning Commons. Specific hours can be found on the We Remember website.

Communities of caring: A digital exhibit featuring community expressions of support from the April 16 Condolence Archives

This website will be posted beginning April 8

April 16 Condolence Archive display at Holtzman Alumni Center

Items include cards and letters written to police and first responders; a display of the badges of police units who came to help Virginia Tech; Cheryl Thompson’s painting, Remember the 32; condolence books; quilted squares from Union Village United Methodist Church; black marble laserworks by David Cunningham, and April 17th Hokies United by Miss Price’s second grade class from Riverlawn Elementary, Fairlawn, Virginia.

Specific hours can be found on the We Remember website.

Passages

A quiet, contemplative space for remembrance and reflection, this display will include prayer flags from the Virginia Tech Graduate Arts Council, Hillel, Living Buddhism, and Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the New River Valley and photographs from the community.

This display will be held April 12-16 at the Miles C. Horton Jr. Gallery and Sherwood P. Quillen ’71 Reception Gallery in Moss Arts Center. Specific hours can be found on the We Remember website.

Remembrance Garden

A small garden space for quiet reflection outside of the Old Dominion Ballroom in Squires will feature the large inscribed rock received from Itawamba Community College in Fulton, Mississippi, and stones from previous April 16 Perspective Gallery exhibits.

For more information on all Expressions of Remembrance and other events associated with the 2017 Day of Remembrance, visit the We Remember website.

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