A minute of silence was observed across many parts of the nation at noon Friday and church bells tolled in memory of the 32 victims of the deadliest shooting rampage in modern U.S. history.
Governors from around the nation had united in ordering a statewide moment of silence to be held today for the lost victims of the Virginia Tech shootings. The political heads each wished for their states to become one over Monday’s tragedy and show their sympathy and grief over what has taken place.
"The State of New York shares Virginia’s and the nation’s grief," explained New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer in a statement Thursday, "and that is why today I am asking that in communities across our state, we observe a moment of silence at noon on Friday, April 20, 2007. I would further request that municipal and church bells across New York toll in honor and in memory of those who died."
At precisely 12 p.m. noon, Virginia held a bell ringing ceremony to honor all of the students who were part of the recent tragedy. Some other states held their ceremonies at the same time, adjusting for time zone differences.
Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle has advised his state to take a moment of reflection at 11 a.m. CT.
"Our friends and fellow citizens in Virginia have suffered a terrible tragedy – a loss that is not isolated to their state, but affects all American citizens," expressed Doyle in a statement. "I urge everyone in Wisconsin to recognize this moment of silence, and stand united with our friends in Virginia, and across the country, as our hearts go out to the friends and families of those who were killed."
Among other governors, Wyoming’s Dave Freudenthal asked for citizens to quiet themselves at 10 a.m. MT, and Oregon’s Ted Kulongoski and Washington’s Chris Gregoire have urged their states to hold their silence at 9 a.m. PT.
"As governor and the parent of a college student, my thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends who have lost loved ones," commented Gregoire in a statement, "[as well as] the students, faculty and staff at Virginia Tech who are in shock that something like this could happen on their campus, and the entire Commonwealth of Virginia, which I know is struggling to make sense out of this senseless act of violence."
All the governors have also ordered that their flags be lowered to half mast until either Sunday or Monday in memory of the victims. In Virginia, Gov. Timothy M. Kaine announced that all of Friday would be a statewide day of mourning.