Virginia Tech

December 1st, 2009

005Pulling on this campus, I knew parking a bus on the road ringing the Drillfield was going to be almost impossible. It was as if I was a NYC cab driver as I negotiated all the kids and vehicles crossing the roadway. Then it appeared, a construction site drive off the roadway with an open spot, well almost. A little parking creativity and I was in. Visiting the Drillfield at the center of the Virginia Tech campus on this beautifully sunny day in southwestern Virginia, one could see students heading in every direction to and from classes across it’s expanse. All is, as when I was here some two and one half years ago, except for the memorial. I had to visit the spot I stood in on the weekend following the tragedy. On that weekend, I respectfully stood well off to the side, silently letting people take as many Sow Only Seeds Of Love stickers as they wished. Many of the thousands talked with me, some hugged me, and some cried with me. Watching that slow procession of mourners for two full days were Mothers, Fathers, Sisters, Brothers, Family, Full teams in uniform, Friends, Educators, each having a profound impact on me. I watched raw human emotion, all the time realizing that I was a father of three children who would be inheriting this same world in a few short years. From this, I promised in my heart to each of those thirty-two that I would do something in their honor to have an impact on others. Thus was the beginnings of One Million Acts Of Kindness. Today as I walked by the thirty-two cornerstones, each from the same limestone which is used in the campus buildings, each with a victim’s name engraved into it, I did as I did during the memorial. I made a promise that a father’s love for his children and a wish for a safer world for them and for all children will inspire me to honor you through my actions, by creating an awareness of kindness for everyone. Engraved on a stone in the memorial it reads;   We will prevail. We are Virginia Tech.

What a great day of connecting with kids, some of them read an article in their school newspaper, The Collegiate Times, said I love what you are doing. One person remembered seeing me at the memorial, Liz Norment, the newspaper writer said she had five of my stickers from the memorial. Jessica who was on the phone with a friend, was relaying all the messages written on the bus to her. Bogart was a huge hit as well. He was dressed in his Diversity Jacket in honor of AIDS awareness day. Most everyone loved the idea. On this emotional day for me, we made contact with over six hundred students. It was a great day.

4 Responses to “Virginia Tech”

  1. Karen says:

    One of our children asked about you today. As I was walking through our preschool area, he looked up and said, “Hey Karen, have you seen Bob?” Thought you might like to know.

  2. Bob Votruba says:

    Hi kids, Bogart would like to know when your last day of day care before Christmas break is…there is a possibility we may be coming home that way…if we do, I may need you to help us with something…Thanks, Bogart and Bob… Have a great weekend!!

  3. Kelly Mason says:

    Thank you so much for coming to visit Virginia Tech again. I stopped and spoke with you for just a moment when I was running late to class, but I really appreciate your initiative and mission of spreading kindness. So simple in its idea, but so very needed today. You and Bogart brightened my day, and being ten minutes late to class was totally worth it – Thank you again!
    All my best,
    Kelly Mason

  4. Karen says:

    Hey Bob,

    We only close on the weekends and Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Not many children will be here Christmas Eve. Feel free to stop by.

Leave a Reply