It'll never *just* be Valentine's Day...

http://www.webweaver.nu/clipart/img/holidays/valentines/heart3.gifFebruary 14th. Valentine's Day.

It's a date romantics love, couples celebrate, and singles despise.

For me and my fellow NIU Huskies, past and present, it hasn't just been a lovey-dovey holiday to us for 2 years now.

While today is a day where most celebrate (or loathe) love, romance and relationship, for us, it's also a day of remembrance and sadness.

For those who may have forgotten or were unaware, today is the 2 year "anniversary" of the shooting that happened on-campus. I put anniversary in quotes, because, well I usually associate the word anniversary with celebration, and in no way am I celebratory about a shooting that rocked the world of those of us that were there.

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_RFhgkp0zlHg/R7iYptOK6bI/AAAAAAAAAEA/7ph4Z0CJF5o/s320/huskie%2Bcrying.jpgYou never think it will actually happen at your school, until it does. You can only imagine the pain and sadness and overwhelming confusion and fear that you see the campus going through on the news.Once you experience something like that in your community - a community you were close to at the time - it completely changes you.

I remember where I was and what happened that day.

Looking through the Facebook statuses of fellow alumni who were there, I thought this year I'd share some of their thoughts, in addition to mine and the standard "Forward Together Forward" phrase that became our school's motto.

An ex of mine, whom I am still on good speaking terms with posts:
"The past two years have painted quite a pall upon this holiday, and yet still I strive to see the good in it."

My friend and former college newspaper co-worker Desiree, over at Diary of a Wannabe Health Freak, who was actually trapped inside the classroom where the shooting occurred writes: 
"My life forever changed on February 14th, 2008. {{ Cole Hall 3:06 p.m. I will never forget }} R.I.P. ♥ Gayle, Dan, Catalina, Ryanne, Julianna. ♥ Forward, Together Forward."

"Valentine's Day will never mean to me what it does to everyone else. Never forget 2.14.2008."

 A girl who lived on the same dorm floor as me my freshman wrote 2 posts: 
"Two years ago, Valentine's Day took on a different meaning for me and my NIU Family....and so this picture of my graduation from NIU in May 2008 represents where my heart is (with [my boyfriend]) and where my thoughts are (with my fellow Huskies)."

"...today is the day to tell your loved ones how you feel about them so they know...because you never know when you will lose the chance. ♥ Forward, Together Forward ♥"

A former classmate posts:
2.14.08 God Bless the Huskies in Heaven 

Jessi, over at The Girl with Kaleidoscope Eyes, who, while not a Huskie, has been and is part of the community of DeKalb that was affected by the tragedy, writes:
"Today we are all Huskies. 2.14.08"

Another former college newspaper co-worker posts:
"Happy Valentine's Day! Tell someone you love them, and never forget this day at NIU in 2008. I know I won't."

And I'm sure there will be more to come as the day progresses.
There is also a memorial service tonight as well.

Forward, Together, Forward - we will never forget.



  1. I know I'm a bit new to your blog, but I had no idea you were an NIU student. I was too! I was a junior in 2008. I didn't get to go to the vigil this year, getting over a cold unfortunately.
    It definitely provides a different perspective on the holiday and life, but it made me appreciate everyone in my life more. The holiday isn't about the whole lovey dovey thing anymore, it's about appreciating everyone I care about.

  2. Oh neat! I graduated in December 2007, but I still lived down there through May 2008, over in Suburban Apts.

    You've probably seen me at the movie theater by Walmart down there though - I was one of the managers for a few years =)

    But yeah, Feb. 14 will never just be Valentine's Day anymore for those of us that were there.


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