SIU students reflect on Virginia Tech tragedy

SIU students reflect on Virginia Tech tragedy By: Carly O'Keefe
CARBONDALE, Ill. - Students gathered on the Southern Illinois University campus Wednesday evening to honor the victims of the Virginia Tech massacre. The group said prayers, held a moment of silence and reflected on the tragedy.
Speakers at the vigil discussed how the tragic event has affected not only the students of Virginia Tech, but has touched everyone in every university community across the nation.

SIU Graduate Student Andy McFadyen-Ketchum was among the speakers at the vigil. He talked about the years he spent as a Virginia Tech as an undergrad and how he feels the shooting will affect current and future college students. "I think it'll always be something we'll always remember and I think people will think it's a great privilege to be here and they'll live life to its fullest," said McFadyen-Ketchum.

SIU student Paul Alexander watched the vigil with tears in his eyes. He came to the event specifically to honor his friend, 19-year-old Caitlin Hammaren. Hammaren was among the people killed Monday at Virginia Tech. "I knew her from when we were this tall," said Paul Alexander, an SIU student from Westtown, New York. "She did not deserve it; she was the best person you'd ever meet. She never wronged anyone."

Nearly 200 people attended the vigil. While most did not know the victims or any Virginia Tech students personally, the vigil was an effort to support the victims and their families-hundreds of miles away.