President Peters, the students, faculty, family members, all those who come tonight to grieve and to pay memorial, President Bush has sent me on his behalf.
These are the presidentís words:
Our entire nation stands with you as you recover from this tragic event. †It is impossible to make sense of such violence and suffering because we all know that each life is a precious gift from God. We mourn the loss of Gayle, Catalina, Julianna, Ryanne and Daniel. We hold these individuals in our heart and we lift them up in our prayers.
We also continue to pray for the speedy recovery of those who were injured. This day of remembrance is an opportunity for students, friends and family to share the memories they have of those lost and to find support in each other and in the arms of the Almighty.† People all over this great country are thinking of you and they are asking God to provide comfort to those who were affected. Laura and I send our prayers to the entire Huskie community during this very difficult time. May God bless you.
What was unimaginable has happened here, and what was unbearable must now be born. At such times it is difficult to look forward, but in time, we must. We must draw strength from each other. We must talk openly about our feeling, and we must remember those who have fallen. May we all seek in our actions from this day forward, to live in a way that will honor the friends that were lost. May our sadness and grief cause us not to look downward, but to look outward. †May we find someone who is in need and help them because when we are serving others, it heals us. May we be assured that with faith, healing and hope will follow.
I, like Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, believe that the spirit of those that were lost lives on. He wrote:
Were a star quenched on high,
For ages would its light,
Still travelling downward from the sky,
Shine on our mortal sight.
So when a great man dies,
For years beyond our ken,
The light he leaves behind him lies
Upon the paths of men.
May God bless us all as he does this great nation.