As we awake this morning following the horrific tragedy in Boston yesterday I can’t help but think how the introduction to this post changed so quickly. As I came back from a meeting on our executive floor in 30 Rock I noticed on the column on TVs by the elevator bank the breaking news. The scene unveiling live before my eyes I was instantly reminded of a similarly gruesome scene six years ago. It’s been 2,192 days since I woke up late the cold, windy and snowy morning of April 16, 2007. Running late, and refusing to skip breakfast with a friend, is what kept me out of Norris Hall that morning. Instead of sitting in the second floor hallway, I was sipping coffee from ABP as I walked out of Squires. That’s when amidst the sirens in the distance I heard my phone ring. I answered the call from a 410 area code, one I didn’t recognize. On the other end of the line was the hurried but collected voice of a Virginia Tech Rescue Squad Probationary Member. That call changed the rest of my day. Instantly I turned my radio on, sprinted across Alumni Mall towards the Military Building tossing my friend inside Major Williams along the way for safety. I arrived at the station changed faster than Clark Kent into my jumpsuit, threw my boots on and hopped on the next unit to leave. The rest of the story picks up here.
And so the events of yesterday and the heroic actions of first responders only add more weight to the words so many of us have known for six years now, Ut Prosim. My heart was heavy with sympathy for all the first responders I saw in action yesterday who like so many of us six years ago rushed into an unknown situation. They acted bravely, swiftly and will undoubtedly be credited with saving a number of lives because of their actions. The thing is, it’s what we do. I guarantee, much like if you were to speak with any of the first responders from Blacksburg that day, our brothers and sisters in Boston would say they were only doing what they had trained to do for so many years.
We must rise every day grateful for the opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life by the way we apply our talents and serve others – be it at work, at home, with friends or amongst strangers. It’s been 2,192 days since April 16, 2007. Have you made a difference in the lives of 2,192 people? If not, I challenge you to start with one today and live for the 32 Hokies – and now those lost in Tuscon, Aurora, Newtown and Boston – who are watching over you.
God bless, and Go Hokies!