RICHMOND, Va. -- A small group gathered at the Capitol Square Bell Tower Saturday morning as 32 bells rang out for the 32 students and faculty who lost their lives during the Virginia Tech shooting.
The bell was rung at 9:43 a.m. after Governor Terry McAuliffe declared the 9th anniversary “Virginia Tech Remembrance Day” and ordered flags to be flown at half-staff across the state.
Andrew Goddard, father to Colin Goddard who was wounded on April 16, 2007, counts himself as one of the more fortunate families.
“I wanted to come down here today just to think about the 32 families not as lucky as I was,” Goddard said. “For the people who actually lost someone.”
Jay Poole, who lead the Office of Recovery and Support for shooting victim’s families, said security at schools and colleges across the world has increased for the better since the shootings.
“The tragedy at Virginia Tech was a bell to get things moving,” Poole said. “There’s no question things are better and safer than they were.”
On the Virginia Tech campus, the college said on its Facebook page that 10,300 people participated in the annual 3.2 mile Run in Remembrance.
“The families were afraid we would forget and we are never going to do that,” Poole said.