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People coming from all over to pay respects to victims of Virginia Tech shooting

Shayne Dwyer/WDBJ7
Shayne Dwyer/WDBJ7(WDBJ)
Published: Apr. 16, 2017 at 4:05 PM EDT
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Blacksburg has flooded with people coming in from far and wide to pay respects to the victims of the 2007 shooting. It's stirred up strong emotions and many say they're still in disbelief it's been 10 years.

This time of the year is always tough at Virginia Tech. Balancing festival and graduation season with solemn memories this year is especially tough.

"Being on campus this weekend it's definitely different, it's not your typical spring weekend with nice weather and everyone has these activities they want to do," Virginia Tech senior Pat Finn said.

Subtle reminders around town and on campus show why that is. The tenth anniversary of the Virginia Tech shooting, a day many consider to be one of their worst.

"Since April 16, 2007, it just makes you think wow, that seems like it was yesterday. But also it seems like we've also grown so much since that day," Finn said.

On the Drillfield, Hokies young and old wandered with a purpose but at a slow pace. Visiting the memorial, a stone for each victim, was a sobering experience for some parents of current students.

"How awful it must have been and now that I have a child here and kind of putting myself in the shoes of the parents back then what would it be like to be getting that call you know," David Kohl, a Virginia Tech parent, said.

Inside the student center, a collection of artifacts have attracted visitors leading up to this. Sending You All Our Love is a selection of flags, banners and signs from the 90,000 that poured in from around the globe. Between the artifacts of strength, and the showing of it together, Hokies feel the love.

"There's so many genuine people out there that care about Virginia Tech and they know that this could have happened anywhere," Finn said.

The Virginia Tech community lit the ceremonial candle at the memorial in front of Burruss Hall Sunday morning at midnight. The candle will remain lit for 24 hours.