Bicycle Diaries: Virginia Tech

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Virginia Tech

...and the thinking reed

What little comfort I get at these times comes from a famous quote by Blaise Pascal, the 17th Century French philosopher.
347. Man is but a reed, the most feeble thing in nature; but he is a thinking reed. The entire universe need not arm itself to crush him. A vapour, a drop of water suffices to kill him. But, if the universe were to crush him, man would still be more noble than that which killed him, because he knows that he dies and the advantage which the universe has over him; the universe knows nothing of this.
Latest figures: 32 dead, 26 injured, 12 in hospital are stable. Here is a partial list of the dead.
Maxine Turner
Vienna, Va.
Senior, Chemical Engineering

Henry Lee
Roanoke, Va.
Freshman, Computer Engineering

Matt La Porte
Dumont, N.J.
Freshman, University Studies

Jamie Bishop
Instructor, Foreign Languages and Literatures (German)

G.V. Loganathan
Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering

Juan Ortiz
Graduate Student, Civil Engineering

Jarrett Lane
Narrows, Va.
Senior, Civil Engineering

Ryan Clark
Columbia County, Ga.
Senior, Biology, English, Psychology

Leslie Sherman
Sophomore, History and International Studies

Caitlin Hammaren
Sophomore, International Studies and French

Liviu Librescu [update from NYTimes]
Professor, Engineering Science & Mechanics

75, a senior researcher and lecturer in engineering, was a Holocaust survivor. He had immigrated to Israel from Romania with his wife Marlina, also a survivor, in 1978. He was an expert in aeronautics at Tel Aviv University and the Haifa Technion before moving to the United States in 1984.

The couple’s elder son, Arieh, lives in the town of Ra’anana, near Tel Aviv. Joe, the younger son, splits his time between the United States and Israel, where he was when news of his father’s death arrived.

According to media accounts quoting students, Mr. Librescu and the class heard shooting in a nearby room. The students said their professor blocked the door to prevent the gunman from entering while some students took cover underneath desks and others leaped out from windows.

Reached by telephone in Ra’anana today, Ayala Librescu, one of his daughters-in-law, said the family “had no time to deal with the loss” and turned down requests for interviews. She confirmed that family members were making plans to fly to America Tuesday night and that they would be bringing Mr. Librescu’s body back to Israel for burial.

Earlier today, Joe Librescu told Ynet, the website of the Hebrew daily Yediot Aharonot: “I understand from friends that my father was a hero. By blocking the door with his body he saved all the students who were in the classroom. Joe Librescu studied at Virginia Tech from 1989 to 1994, according to Israeli media reports.

Kevin Granata
Professor, Engineering Science & Mechanics

Reema Samaha
Centreville, Va.

Emily Hilscher
Woodville, Va.
Freshman, Animal and Poultry Sciences, Equine Science

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