VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — What started as a request from the superintendent of Virginia Beach City Public Schools quickly spread across the region.
Dr. Aaron Spence encouraged everyone in the Virginia Beach schools family to wear blue on Monday in a tweet posted on Saturday. Many other school districts across Hampton Roads joined in soon after, asking the same of their students and staff.
On Monday, numerous photos of residents, students and school staff, and employees in other cities wearing blue, were posted to social media.
Michael Taylor, the principal at Providence Elementary School in Virginia Beach, posted a photo to Twitter of the school’s students and staff forming a giant “VB” as a sign saying “STRONG” was held in the foreground.
The post from Taylor was one of many the district shared on Monday.
It’s normal to see one color at Princess Anne High School.
“I’m seeing a lot of blue,” said Princess Anne High senior Chris Kunze.
When you look at the lockers, door ways and the mascot, that color is everywhere. Monday, though blue is reserved for the something much more important.
“We are just paying respects,” added senior Bella Cabaccan.
The wave blue can be seen best in the crowded hallways. There are different shades, but all have the same meaning.
“It was really shocking, because I couldn’t believe this was really happening,” Kunze said.
“I have a lot of friends whose parents work there, I was texting them making sure their parents got home safe,” Cabaccan added.
“At first I didn’t even think it was in Virginia Beach,” Kunze said. “I thought it was just another horrible tragedy, but my heart just kind of sunk when I realized it was in my hometown.”
Cabaccan says Saturday she got on the phone with SCA students from all over the city. She created a post asking for everyone to wear blue Monday. Within minutes the post went viral.
“It is sad that this is the reason that it blew up, but it is really comforting seeing that we are all here for each other and Virginia Beach is just one giant family,” Cabaccan added.
The family in that sea of blue is now wrapping its arms around the families left behind.
“To see our students really reach out and take the lead and set the tone for us as adults to follow, it really touched me,” said Princess Anne Principal Danny Little.
Schools from all over Hampton Roads have posted pictures of students in blue.
“We are all in this together,” Cabaccan added. “We are all grieving and we are all healing.”
Norfolk Public Schools posted a photo Monday morning of some of its staff members sporting blue attire to “show unity for the City of Virginia Beach.”
A number of WAVY viewers also shared images of their blue-clad support for Virginia Beach on Monday.