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Posted April 16, 2008 | Copyright © The Northern Virginia Daily
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Virginia to pause for a moment of silence


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Judy wrote:

This quilt was a labor of love from Pam to her brother and then to the troopers. I told Pam it took hours to make thi ... Read more

A year ago today, a mentally ill student, shot and killed 32 people and himself at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg. On this first anniversary, more than a thousand people gathered on campus at midnight to start the day of mourning. A ceremony is scheduled there this morning, and a candlelight vigil will be held this evening. Virginia state flags are being flown half-staff, and the Gov. Timothy M. Kaine has ordered a moment of silence at noon today.

quilt presentation
State police superintendent Col. W. Steven Flaherty, left, presents a quilt made in honor of the slain Virginia Tech students to Capt. George Austin Jr., Commander of the Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation Field Office, on Tuesday at the state police Salem Division headquarters. Photo courtesy of the Virginia State Police
On Tuesday, the Virginia State Police in Salem took a moment to reflect on the tragedy. Here's a note submitted to Valley 9-1-1 from Daily Features editor Natalie Austin, whose brother worked on the investigation of this nation's worst mass shootings in recent memory:

A group of quilters from Virginia and several other states made a quilt for the Virginia State Police, honoring victims of the April 16th massacre at Virginia Tech.

The quilt was presented Tuesday by Col. W. Steven Flaherty to Capt. George W. Austin Jr. at Salem division headquarters.

Austin's sister, Pam Austin, of Covington, initiated the quilting effort that soon became a nationwide one.

State police say the quilt will be permanent reminder of the 32 victims and their families.

quilt3.jpgGeorge and Pam Austin are my brother and sister. I am proud of my brother, who worked countless hours, along with his men, during a time when we were losing our mother to cancer. I also am proud of my sister, who most often thinks of others rather than herself.

The quilt will remain on display at division headquarters in Salem.

-- Natalie Austin, Northern Virginia Daily Features editor

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This quilt was a labor of love from Pam to her brother and then to the troopers. I told Pam it took hours to make this and she said 'what do you mean hours! It took months!' All of us who worked on this quilt are honored by the reception the quilt received from the Salem troopers. The block pattern is called Think Pink and it is from www.fatcatpatterns.com and it is free to use. Natalie, remember to pick up 3 papers for us gals here in Covington.

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