Recently, I received an email from Jean Miyake Downey, a contributing editor for the Kyoto Journal. She was talking about the growing number of people speaking out for surviving comfort women, but I feel her words hold true for this most recent atrocity. She writes, "I feel as if there's a volcanic eruption of voices happening." I say I feel as if there's a volcanic eruption of humanity happening. Once again violence has plagued the innocent. Here were the lives just beginning to unfold, heating up and warming up for the long haul, learning who they were and how to live, here were students finally opening up to all the possibilities. And then there was gunfire.
For myself, and my community here at the University of Miami, news of the shootings at Virginia Tech hit a little too close to home. And maybe that is also why the students are fast to react, to want to show their support to their friends at Virginia Tech. There are so many ways that our community wants to bless Virginia Tech -- in the prayers at a memorial mass, in a candle light vigil, in a conversation among students and faculty, in a fund raiser for the families of the victims. We are sending our blessings and our prayers and our good energy to our friends at Virginia Tech. We are sad for their loss and cannot imagine going through their days. But we want them to know that we are here. Supporting. Calling their name, in solidarity.