Reporter: David Tate
Blacksburg, VA - It's a "Day of Remembrance" at Virginia Tech Monday as the community reflects on the 32 students and faculty who were killed on campus.
This is the first year since the tragedy that classes are being held on April 16. A lot of that had to do with the fact that much of the student body that was here five years ago has left, leaving a new generation of Hokies to decide how they can best remember those killed and wounded.
As the memorial minute of 9:43 a.m. approached, one teacher held class just to the left of the memorial to allow her students to reflect.
A scattered few others stopped to reflect as well. But for the most part, this bustling campus of more than 28,000 students was moving along as normal with classes in session.
For freshman like Evan Lobeto, "Remembrance Day" is more of a lesson in its own. Separated from the violence itself, he is more impressed with the fact the university still honors those lost that day.
"I was just interested in seeing how they go about remembering what happened that day. And I guess I was thinking about how the families must have felt when they heard the news and how it's great that the university still pays such respects for the victims," said Lobeto.
Freshman James McNamara agrees - five years is long enough.
"I know there were some teachers who were here; some teachers who didn't to have class and canceled today. I understand why they do, but I don't think it's too much of a problem to have it today," said McNamara.
It isn't an attitude of insensitivity just one of disconnect and of time. Even though, in some way, just being a Hokie means there will always be a connection.
"It's kind of hard to explain. It's definitely a part of going here. It's something people always bring up when you talk about Virginia Tech," said McNamara.
We will get a much better gauge as to how well this new generation of Hokies will continue to honor those killed and wounded five years ago when the remembrance ceremony and candlelight vigil on the drill field gets underway at 7:30 p.m. Gov. Bob McDonnell is expected to attend.