Nikki Giovanni

Remarks at the Memorial Ceremony for Virginia Tech Shooting Victims

delivered 17 April 2007


"We Are Virginia Tech"

Off-Site Audio mp3 of Address


[AUTHENTICITY CERTIFIED: Text version below transcribed directly from audio]

We are Virginia Tech.

We are sad today and we will be sad for quite awhile.

We are not moving on; we are embracing our mourning.

We are Virginia Tech.

We are strong enough to stand tall tearlessly;

We are brave enough to bend to cry

And sad enough to know we must laugh again.

We are Virginia Tech.

We do not understand this tragedy. We know we did nothing to deserve it, but neither does the child in Africa dying of AIDS; neither do the invisible children walking the night away to avoid being captured by a rogue army; neither does the baby elephant watching his community be devastated for ivory; neither does the Mexican child looking for fresh water; neither does a Appalachian infant killed in the middle of the night in his crib in the home his father built with his own hands being run over by a boulder because the land was destabilized. No one deserves a tragedy.

We are Virginia Tech.

The Hokie Nation embraces our own and reaches out with open heart and hand to those who offer their hearts and minds. We are strong and brave and innocent and unafraid. We are better than we think, and not quite what we want to be. We are alive to the imagination and the possibility we will continue to invent the future through our blood and tears, through all this sadness. We are the Hokies.

We will prevail!

We will prevail!

We will prevail!

We are Virginia Tech.

Please see: Virginia Tech Day of Remembrance, and "We Remember" Memorial Website

See also: Virginia Tech Memorial Ceremony and Speeches

See also: Professional Website of Nikki Giovanni

Audio Note: Linked directly to external source at Virginia Tech

Page Updated: 12/3/21

U.S. Copyright Status: Text = Restricted, seek permission from Ms. Giovanni.

Top 100 American Speeches

Online Speech Bank

Copyright 2001-Present. 
American Rhetoric.
HTML transcription by Michael E. Eidenmuller.