- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Virginia Tech alumni are asking the public to wear orange and maroon tomorrow as a show of sympathy for the victims of Monday’s campus massacre.

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine has designated tomorrow as a statewide day of mourning.

“I ask that everyone in Virginia pause at noon on Friday to offer prayers of support for the victims, their families, and for all those affected by this tragedy,” Mr. Kaine said.

The governor is scheduled to attend an interfaith prayer service at noon in Monroe Park on the campus of Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond.

He encouraged other communities in Virginia and across the nation to hold similar ceremonies, beginning with the ringing of bells at noon.

The Virginia Tech Alumni Association is asking Americans to show support for the shooting victims and their families by wearing the school’s colors on “Orange and Maroon Effect” day.

Jennifer MacDonald, an adviser with the alumni association’s student program, said the designation began a few years ago as a way for students, alumni and fans to show school spirit at sporting events.

“The idea to [designate tomorrow] began as an e-mail circulating that picked up steam,” she said. “So now we’re asking everyone to wear orange and maroon, as a show of solidarity.”

Candlelight vigils are planned at 9 p.m. today on campuses across Virginia. Among those participating are Virginia Commonwealth University, George Mason University in Fairfax, Radford University in Radford, James Madison University in Harrisonburg, the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg and the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.

Officials at St. Mary’s College of Maryland have scheduled a memorial service at 4 p.m. in the campus’ Garden of Remembrance.

Archbishop of Washington Donald W. Wuerl has called for prayer.

“In the face of such evil, we must not let the violence overwhelm us,” Archbishop Wuerl said.

“We need to renew our faith in God’s presence and turn to him for the grace to get through this tragedy. God’s love always is with us, even when we cannot understand how something this horrible could happen.”

Memorial events today include a 7 p.m. service at Thomas Road Baptist Church Sanctuary in Lynchburg, Va.; a 7 p.m. candlelight service in Millersville, Md.; and a 7:30 p.m. service at the West Main Baptist Church in Danville, Va.

The Washington National Cathedral will hold a prayer service at 4 p.m. Sunday.

Masses for the victims will be celebrated at 5:30 p.m. Sunday at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle on Rhode Island Avenue Northwest, and at 7 p.m. Sunday at the University of Maryland’s Catholic Student Center Chapel.

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