My 5th great grandfather was George Mason, after whom George Mason University was named. He was a gentleman farmer, a businessman, a contemporary of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin. He was a founding father of our nation's government, writing the Virginia Bill of Rights that was incorporated, in part and in theory, into the United States Bill of Rights. He was a proud Virginian... and though I have never visited there, I hold Virginia in a special place in my heart as the 'land of my forefathers'. My great uncle recently celebrated his 100th birthday with family in Charlottesville; I have two dear friends who live outside of Williamsburg and in Centreville. It is, in a strange way, the home I have never lived in. My heart goes out to all who are affected by the events at Virginia Tech yesterday. My prayers are with those who are suffering...God Bless You All. Though the media delves and the forensic teams test, we may never know why this happened. It is incomprehensible.

I know that our founding fathers would be dismayed that America is not the utopia they envisioned, not the haven of safety and security they espoused, not the example of freedom in action that they framed in our Constitution. We are far from perfect, we still have pain and suffering and death and war, and we still have injustice. No one at Virginia Tech deserved to die yesterday. No one deserved to lose a loved one. No one deserves to experience the horrible desperation that the shooter himself must have been living in to decide to commit such an awful, despondent, evil act. We are Americans. We have a history of fighting for our freedoms, for our survival, for a better life and a brighter future. But this......killing for the sake of killing. This is not the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave that my ancestor dreamed of, of that I am certain.

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