Commentary: Hokie Support in My Hometownby Suzanne Higgs
News Staff Writer
April 25, 2007
The sea of maroon and orange from all the memorial services across campus washed over Hampton Roads on Friday April 20.
With the recent tragedy on campus, the whole nation has responded with support and encouragement. My hometown in Hampton was no different.
After Monday’s events my parents came up to spend time with me, but left the next day. The wanted me to return with them, but I wanted to stay for the candlelight vigil that night.
I returned home early Wednesday and later discovered that Friday, April 20 had been named “Orange and Maroon Effect Day.” Now I have Virginia Tech shirts and so does everyone that lives in my house, so we were set.
When my friends went out to find anything maroon and orange to wear I was surprised to hear that people were trying to get the last shirt. I knew there had been an outpouring of support from the nation, but I did not fathom that Hokie Gear would sell out. There was nothing with Virginia Tech on it left in Hampton, not at Wal-Mart, A&N, or anywhere else that carries our colors.
Local community businesses and national franchises, schools, and churches all showed their support on Friday.
McDonald’s on Pembroke Avenue near my house had their flags lowered, including the one with the golden arches.
Friends of our family, Kim O’Donoghue, who owns Flagship Title, and Curtis Minton, who works with her in downtown Hampton said everyone in the office wore jerseys, hoodies, and anything else maroon and orange. Even Buddy Love, the office dog, wore a maroon bandana.
At Outdoor World in Williamsburg, where my family camps, maroon and orange balloons were displayed at the front gate and at other locations around the grounds. Workers that are close to my family also called to see if I was safe.
My family showed their Hokie Pride on Friday. At Newport News Waterworks my step-mom, Kim Higgs, and her team of cashiers wore Virginia Tech apparel or ribbons to show their support for the victims and the school.
Even my little brother showed his spirit with his new Virginia Tech basketball shorts that we bought on Tuesday and his Orange Effect shirt. Other students in his class as well as the rest of the school at Phillips Elementary became Hokies for a day. One student made her own shirt that remembered the victims.
Kecoughtan High School a showed their support by putting a message on the marquee in front of the building and lowering flags.
The Church of Christ on Woodland offered their prayers, as many churches in the area did.
It was nice to escape the media invasion and go home, but I did miss our Hokie Nation. On Friday, I came back to them through all of the constant reminders in my hometown.
Hampton showed its support for Lauren McCain, for me and all of Virginia Tech on Friday. Because of the amount of encouragement from my family, friends, and community-at school and at home, I know we will prevail.
Thank you Hampton.