Erica Jones

Victims of Va. Tech Massacre Honored on 8th Anniversary of Attack

The victims of the April 16, 2007, massacre at Virginia Tech will be remembered across the state Thursday.

At 9:43 a.m., a statewide moment of silence honored the 32 victims, who include 18-year-old freshman Erin Peterson; sophomore engineering 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.

Following the moment of silence, buglers from the school's Corps of Cadets played echo taps at various locations on the school's Blacksburg campus.

The memorial events on campus began at midnight Thursday 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 11:59 p.m., but the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets will stand guard for 32 minutes beforehand.

The memorial events will continued through the weekend with a 3.2 mile run on Saturday.

Eight years ago, 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.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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