19 April 2007

Respecting the Silence...UPDATED

Like so many of you, I am still stunned about Monday's horrible events in Virginia. With each passing day, the news and 'history' of this tragedy gets more and more troubling. For what it's worth...after we've all had time to properly respect the victims...I hope that this nightmare can open up some long-overdue dialogue in this country about gun control and mental illness, among others. I'm not so sure what we learned, at large, from Columbine 8 years ago, but Blacksburg hopefully will signal a turning point...a point where we try and prevent...once and for all...this from happening ever again. For the time being, though, I wish all the rhetoric would quiet down some so that we don't lose sight of all the wonderful people we've lost.

There is a nicely done article from MSNBC that profiles the victims and some of their many contributions. It's a sobering testimony to the fleeting joy that is life to be sure, but the victims so deservedly need to be remembered...from this moment on and forever into the future.

The same article above also mentions slain German professor Jamie Bishop's web page (which obviously is a bit out of date, as it still lists him living in Carrboro and still working at UNC at Chapel Hill). It's a wonderful site to get a glimpse of what this man was all about, and it displays his superb skills in web design and photography. I did not know him, but his strong sense of humour, love of art, and curiousity about digital media is front and center throughout the site. If you're interested in looking at it, it's called Memory39. (If you click on 'Profile' and then 'Journal' from the main page, then read his journal entry from June 2006...there are numerous condolences under the 'Comments' section. This is such a wonderful site, despite everything, and I wholeheartedly second another viewer who hopes that the site remains up as a dedication to Herr Bishop.)

And may Jamie Bishop, like the others, with their readily apparent appreciations for life, never be forgotten.

UPDATED April 20: Virginia Tech has a web page up for people wanting to make donations. Their main fund is called The Hokie Spirit Memorial Fund, but they also have some memorial scholarship and endowment funds that have been/soon will be established in the name of victims, including Jamie Bishop. Go here to make a donation. For those wanting to donate in Herr Bishop's name specifically, go to the page above and then click on the link under 'funds in honor or memory of the victims'; that page will take you to another where you can make donations online and *directly to* the Christopher James (Jamie) Bishop Memorial Scholarship Fund (use the drop down menu off the donation page). I understand donations sent in without any designation to a particular fund will go to the larger Hokie Spirit Memorial Fund. Additionally, you can choose to make more than a one-time donation, if you wish (and that's also an option on the online donation page), so it can be a recurring gift.

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