Victims of Va. Tech Massacre Honored on 7th Anniversary of Attack

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    Mourners hug during Virginia Tech's Day of Remembrance in 2008 honoring the 32 people killed in a massacre a year earlier.

    The victims of the April 16, 2007, massacre at Virginia Tech will be remembered at ceremonies in Richmond and Blacksburg.

    One remembrance is scheduled Wednesday in Richmond's Capitol Square. Gov. Terry McAuliffe's chief of staff, Paul Regan, and Secretary of Education Anne Holton are scheduled to speak near the bell tower. The bell will be sounded after the names of the 32 victims are read by Secretary of Public Safety Brian Moran.

    Later Wednesday morning, McAuliffe will attend the Virginia Tech Day of Remembrance on the Blacksburg campus.

    The memorial events on campus began at midnight Wednesday with the lighting of a ceremonial candle at the university's April 16 Memorial, a semi-circle of 32 Hokie Stones, each engraved with a victim's name. The school said the candle would remain lit for 24 hours.

    The ceremonial candle will be extinguished at 11:50 p.m., but the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets will stand guard for 32 minutes beforehand.

    At 9:43 a.m., a campus-wide moment of silence will honor the victims, who include 18-year-old freshman Erin Peterson; sophomore engingeering student Matthew La Porte; graduate student Juan Ramón Ortiz-Ortiz; and 76-year-old engineering professor Liviu Librescu, who held the door to his classroom closed, giving his students more time to escape through the windows.

    A display of pastel portraits of all 32 victims will be on display until 5 p.m. in the G. Burke Johnston Student Center Hallway.

    Virginia Tech also identified a list of places on campus for quiet reflection.

    Student gunman Seung-Hui Cho killed 32 students and faculty in the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. He killed himself after the rampage.

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