BLACKSBURG, Va., April 16 (UPI) -- Three years after a Virginia Tech student killed 32 people, the university planned to cancel classes Friday on the anniversary of the massacre.
The Washington Post reported the Blacksburg, Va., campus scheduled events throughout the day to celebrate the lives of the victims and commemorate their loss.
At an evening vigil, participants will light white candles and place them next to 32 limestone blocks, one for each victim of Seung-hui Cho's April 16, 2007, rampage, in which he also wounded 25 others before killing himself in the worst massacre ever at a U.S. college campus.
Most of the freshmen at the campus at the time of the shootings will graduate May 14.
Brandon Carroll, 21, of Poolesville, the student body president, wondered whether the anniversary would hold as much meaning after students who attended at the time of the shootings graduate.
"It's inevitable that it's going to fade a little bit and that it won't mean as much to the community," Carroll said. "If you don't have that shared bond with other classes, then it's slowly going to lose its significance."
The 28,000-student university says it plans to resume classes on April 16 beginning in 2012, the fifth anniversary of the shootings.
"I think the gravity of April 16 will be lifted a little bit after our class goes through," said Kelsey Steiner, 21, a senior psychology major. "To have been here and felt the emotions and to have experienced the fear, the pain, the grief, everything, is something I don't think another class will know.
"I think the Tech community needs to make sure we still have a day off for remembrance. The memorial is beautiful, but we need to make sure people see it and know why it's there. In the future, they can't ask, 'What are those rocks?'"