BLACKSBURG, Va. (WFXR) — On Saturday — exactly 15 years after one of America’s deadliest mass shootings — Gov. Glenn Youngkin has ordered flags to be lowered across the Commonwealth in honor of the 32 people who lost their lives and the 17 who were injured when a student opened fire on the Virginia Tech campus on April 16, 2007.
You can read Youngkin’s full order below:
In accordance with the authority vested in me as Governor, I hereby order that the flags of the United States of America and the Commonwealth of Virginia be flown at half-staff on all state and local buildings and grounds in the Commonwealth of Virginia in respect and memory of the 15th Anniversary of the Virginia Tech shooting which took the lives of 32 people.
I hereby order that the flags shall be lowered at sunrise on Saturday, April 16, 2022 and remain at half-staff until sunset.
Ordered on this, the 15th day of April, 2022.
Meanwhile, U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine issued the following statement, as well as a video of comments, ahead of the anniversary of the shooting:
Today, I’m thinking about the beautiful members of the Virginia Tech community whose lives were tragically cut short 15 years ago. These Virginians had so many dreams left to accomplish, and so much life ahead of them. I’m holding their loved ones in my heart.
I’m also thinking about how Virginia Tech has shown again and again that we have it in our power to band together during tough times and support one another. I’m still inspired by the Hokie Nation’s spirit that I saw in the wake of this horrific tragedy.
At the time, the Virginia Tech shooting was the deadliest mass shooting in the history of the United States. Since then, the Las Vegas and Orlando shootings have taken even more lives too soon. Enough is enough. We must take commonsense steps to prevent the heartbreak caused by horrific acts of gun violence.Statement released by U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) on April 15, 2022
Kaine has long advocated for expanding access to mental health services and establishing universal background checks to make communities safer. For example, he introduced the Virginia Plan to Reduce Gun Violence Act — a bill to federally enact a series of commonsense gun violence prevention measures adopted by Virginia, including universal background checks — in 2020.