It is painful and sad that there is any link between the elementary school of Sandy Hook and the college of Virginia Tech. Unfortunately they will be forever bonded by their tragedies of gunmen murdering students on their campuses.
Virginia Tech has been wearing flat maroon helmets with a large ribbon decal on each side to honor the victims of both incidents. A 58 adorns the center, to recognize the 26 who dies at Sandy Hook and the 32 from the April 2007 shooting on Virginia Tech’s Blacksburg campus. The colors of both schools are included along with their initials, on the ribbon.
“Prevail” is the message that the team hopes to deliver to all those affected by the tragedies, both fresh and from 5 years past. To prevail is the only option, councilors have said. Prevail is the mantra. Both on the field and off.
The Hokies football team will go back to their normal helmets for the Russell Athletic Bowl in Orlando, FL on Friday, December 28th, with a smaller version of the decal on the back.
Virginia Tech head coach Frank Beamer said, “We prevailed in Blacksburg. I think if anything it brought us closer and more determined and the same thing is going to happen there. The way the community is coming together. It’s a terrible thing to happen.”
“We’ve got to prevail. We can’t let one person define Blacksburg or Virginia Tech, and we can’t let (one) person define (Newtown).” Beamer told the Orlando Sentinel.
The VT coaches will wear an actual ribbon on their shirts during the game Friday.
A stark reminder than prevailing on the football field is of little importance, comparatively.