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Honoring victims at Virginia Tech and Boston

To the University community:

Gov. Robert McDonnell has issued a proclamation recognizing April 16 as Virginia Tech Remembrance Day in the Commonwealth.

This morning, the University Chapel bells will toll 32 times, once for each of the victims in the April 16, 2007, tragedy at Virginia Tech.

Our community joins others across the state in this shared moment of remembrance and honor of those who lost their lives and those who were wounded on that day of senseless violence. As we ring the chapel bells, following a moment of silence at 9:43 a.m., the bells of the Capitol Square Bell Tower in Richmond will ring as well.

I ask that you also take time today to join the University community in conveying sympathy and well-wishes to those affected by another act of unprovoked and undeserved violence, this time in Boston. As of this writing, three people are confirmed dead and more than 100 injured by multiple explosions that occurred near the finish line of the Boston Marathon. Our thoughts go out to the victims and their families.

The University of Virginia community was represented in Boston as well, both by runners in the marathon and by volunteers along the race course. Thankfully, we have heard from many, confirming their safety. We are eager to hear from everyone from U.Va. as well as the greater Charlottesville area, which has such a strong and close-knit running community.

Finally, as we remember the Virginia Tech tragedy of six years ago, and attempt to understand the Boston violence of one day ago, I urge you to do whatever you can to look out for one another here.

Teresa A. Sullivan