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Mount Union College Hosts Service of Remembrance for Virginia Tech Community

April 19, 2007

'Our courage is the key to our ability to remember others,' Mount Union College Chaplain Marty CashBurless said at the special service honoring and remembering the victims of the tragedy at Virginia Tech on Wednesday, April 18 in Dewald Chapel.

During the service, CashBurless showed slides with the names and photos of the 32 victims. She also read thoughts and tributes about each person said by his or her family and friends.

'Each is a person of substantial work created in the image of God,' CashBurless said.

Sophomore Kelly Chandler, who is a member of the Alpha Delta Pi sorority, received a letter from a sister of Alpha Delta Pi in Virginia Tech named Pam, and shared it with the congregation. Pam said one of their 130 sisters was shot, but is steadily recovering.

'I know the many prayers we have received has healed her and has gotten her through,' Pam said in her correspondence with Chandler.

Following the reading of Pam's letter, CashBurless read the speech from Virginia Tech Professor Nikki Giovanni at the University's Convocation on April 17.

'We do not understand this tragedy,' Giovanni said. 'We know we did nothing to deserve it'.No one deserves a tragedy. The Hokie Nation embraces our own and reaches out with open heart and mind to those who offer their hearts and hands. Through our blood and tears through all this sadness, we are the Hokies. We will prevail. We are Virginia Tech.'

Excerpts from George W. Bush's Presidential Proclamation to Virginia Tech were read by CashBurless. She said President Bush has called for each American flag to be flown at half staff until sunset on Sunday, April 22 in honor of the Virginia Tech victims.

The service concluded with CashBurless asking for volunteers to carry light sticks, with each one including a victim's name. CashBurless asked those who chose to take a stick to keep it with them for the next several hours and continually pray for his or her family, friends and loved ones.

'When you need God the most, He will be there for you,' CashBurless said.

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