Amid a sea of maroon and orange attire proudly sported by the thousands in attendance, Virginia Tech's April 16 Memorial honoring the victims of the tragedy was formally dedicated at just after noon on August 19.
In a ceremony marked by expressions of condolence, appreciation, support, encouragement, and above all, hope and an affirmation of an undaunted Hokie spirit, 32 engraved Hokie Stones were unveiled for families and friends of the deceased.
The new memorial, located on the Drillfield near the viewing stand, replaces an earlier memorial on the same site that was erected by students in Hokies United during the night following the April 16 shootings. The 32 Hokie Stones used in that earlier memorial were placed in custom made mahogany boxes and offered to families of the victims. The 32 permanent stones in the new memorial, each weighing 300 pounds, are etched with the names of those who lost their lives and are placed in the same order as they were at the temporary memorial.
University President Charles Steger presided over the official dedication, which was followed by 32 rings of a ceremonial bell provided by Salem (Va.) Fire Department.
A video stream of the entire ceremony and other related information about the memorial will be available on the Memorial Dedication webpage.