Today is a day of mourning

Governor Kaine Announces Statewide Day of Mourning

Richmond - Governor Tim Kaine has declared Friday, April 20, 2007 a statewide day of mourning for the victims of Monday’s tragedy at Virginia Tech. . . . He has encouraged other communities in Virginia and across the nation to hold their own simultaneous ceremonies and participate in prayer services, beginning with the ringing of bells at noon, eastern daylight savings time.

Why have an official day, when we all know that some will be grieving far longer?

In the Shenandoah Valley-Herald, John Collins writes:

The Book of Ecclesiastes reminds us that there is a time to weep. This is that time. Save the public discussions for later — after the final victim has been officially identified, after the vigils and services, after classes have resumed.

As Collins notes, the ambulance chasers and other political parasites emerged at the first news, yet Ecclesiastes also reminds us there is a time to be silent. It is time for decent citizens to comfort the bereaved, support the anguished, and honor the lives cut short.

Politics will wait. We won’t forget the scavengers of tragedy —vermin that thrive on grief— and can contend with them after a semblance of routine returns.

The Virginia flag is at half-staff until further notice. The US flag is at half-staff until sunset April 22, and school classes resume Monday, April 23.

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