BLACKSBURG, Va. (WDBJ7) Following the attacks of April 16, 2007 on Virginia Tech’s campus, the Marjory Stoneman Douglas School sent a memory book with letters to the community here to show they were thinking of Blacksburg.
Given the attack earlier this week, Virginia Tech pulled the book out of the archive Friday.
In 2007, Virginia Tech received around 90,000 gifts from around the world. Many were digitized, recorded, and then destroyed.
But amongst the percentage saved is this book from students in Florida.
Tamara Kennelly is the University Archivist who recorded all the gifts.
She said of the book, “It's not just the size, it's when you open it and you look at it there's so much thought that went into it and so many different thoughts from so many people.”
Messages include "Don't give up," "I'm very sorry for your loss," and this message, with an even stronger meaning now following Wednesday's attacks, "I will pray for you guys each day and each night that something like this never happens again."
The university said the notes were not from just the high school, as students there wanted the whole state of Florida involved.
“The Marjory Stoneman Douglas School, the students there wanted to bring other people together, and that kind of collaborative of heartfelt wishes was very moving at the time and it still is when I look at it,” Kennelly said.
It's because she still looks at it that Kennelly immediately remembered the book when news of the shootings broke Wednesday.
“It just seemed so ironic, I guess, that they had reached out to us and then now they have to deal with this terrible thing that happened to them.”
Virginia Tech President Tim Sands tweeted Friday saying to the Marjory Stoneman Douglas School, in part, "We will never forget that you helped us to heal...and we will always be here for you."
With heavy hearts, the @virginia_tech community embraces the students, teachers, staff, families, and community of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. We will never forget that you helped us to heal - https://t.co/VHIyEsolPo - and we will always be here for you.— Timothy D Sands (@VTSandsman) February 16, 2018
Kennelly said the book stays in the special collections section here at the Newman Library on campus. Anyone who wants to read it is welcome to and she expects more people will want to see it now following this weeks attack in Florida.