(Photo: AP / The Roanoke Times, Kyle Green)
Campuses across the country are being lit up with candlelight vigils for the 33 Virginia Tech students and teachers who were shot to death on Monday.
On the main campus where the nation's worst shooting rampage occurred, thousands of Va. Tech students grieved together Tuesday night, holding up candles in paper cups that were donated from around the country. In the midst of a silent memorial, one side of the large crowd at the center of campus sang "Amazing Grace" while the other side began saying school cheers.
"We want the world to know we are Virginia Tech, we will recover, we will survive with your prayers," said Zenobia Hikes, vice president for student affairs, according to WorldNow and WBOC.
Prayers are being said across the states as university campuses hold memorial vigils from a distance for the victims. The gunman was identified as Seung-Hui Cho, a 23-year-old senior at the university, who shot 32 people dead before turning the gun on himself. Prayers have been nonstop since the day of the shooting as campus ministries and students are pulling together to provide strength for those mourning.
A fellow tech university also remembered the victims Tuesday night as they read victims' names that were released and even prayed for the family of the accused shooter. A banner at the Texas Tech University event read "From One Tech To Another." Students wrote prayers and messages on the banner to send to Virginia Tech.
Drury University in Springfield, Mo., will continue the prayer chain being seen around the nation with a candlelight vigil of their own Wednesday night.
Students at the State University College at Oswego community also plan to hold a prayer vigil Thursday night in memory of the victims to "show solidarity with the Virginia Tech community," stated Michael Huynh, director of Hall Newman Center where the vigil will be held.
As President George Bush stated Tuesday, "There's a power in these prayers, a real power."
"It is becoming more personal with every hour," said the Rev. Glenn Tyndall, United Methodist campus minister at Wesley Foundation Center next to Virginia Tech campus, as the names of the victims were being released on Tuesday, according to the United Methodist News Service.
While personal for those who lost a loved one or a close friend, the shooting tragedy has become national through mourning and prayers.
"We are all crying with you," wrote Newell and Nita Randall, Virginia Tech alumni from the Class of 1979, in a message to the Wesley Foundation Center.