Virginia Tech Marks 12 Years Since 32 Slain in Mass Shooting

The Virginia Tech community is marking a dozen years since 32 students and faculty members were slain in a 2007 shooting on campus.

A ceremonial candle is slated to burn for nearly 24 hours, from midnight to 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, according to Virginia Tech's We Remember website.

For the final 32 minutes of the day, members of the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets will stand guard at the university's April 16th Memorial, marking one minute for each of those lost.

The day's events also include a wreath-laying and moment of silence, and Virginia Tech's Newman Library is remembering the victims with two exhibits. "Holding the Light" honors those who were killed and injured that day. "A Community of Learners, a Legacy of Achievement" will feature images of the 32 victims, as well as books that reflect their individual disciplines and interests, the university said.

Last weekend, Virginia Tech held a 5K run and an interfaith service.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam ordered state flags to be flown at half-staff on local, state and federal buildings and grounds in the commonwealth on Tuesday. Northam issued the order "in respect and memory of the victims of the Virginia Tech shooting, their families, and the entire Virginia Tech community," according to a statement on the governor's website.

At the time it occurred, the shooting at Virginia Tech was the deadliest mass shooting in recent U.S. history. The victims ranged in age from 18 to 76.

Two years ago, at a ceremony marking 10 years since the tragedy, U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine said April 16, 2007 remained "the worst day of my life."

Kaine, who was governor of Virginia when the shooting occurred, said since that day he had kept in touch with many families who lost children, spouses or loved ones in the mass shooting.

"I remember saying to them, I'll never understand what you lost, because I never lost a child, a spouse, a parent or a sibling," he said. "But as somebody who has grown to know the biographies and stories of each of these 32, I begin to have a sense of what the Commonwealth lost, what the country lost, what the world lost on April 16, 2007."

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