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The Virginia Tech Massacre

by Jane Lee (Age: 23)
copyright 01-01-2008

Age Rating: 10 +

Okay... I wrote this quite a long time ago for a school english speaking competition (3 minute speech), but I never thought of putting this up... Anyway here it is. I kind of wrote this for Korean people.


On April 16th, a man walked down a Virginia Tech hallway, and started shooting people in the classrooms. Just two hours ago, he had shot and killed two other people in a dorm room. After killing 30 people, he shot himself in the head. This man’s name was Cho Seung-Hui. He was 23 years old and was currently attending Virginia Tech.

When the news stations first reported that there was a shooting massacre in the United States of America, many people in Korea were saying, “Ah, those crazy Americans. There they go again. Another terrible shooting.” You could sense that their attitude was, ‘This could only happen in America.’ But when it was reported that the shooter might be Asian, they started worrying and thought, ‘What if he’s Korean?’ Then, the media mistakenly reported that the shooter was Chinese. Everyone was like, “Ah, I knew it. Those crazy Chinese people.”

However, when it was finally revealed that the shooter was Korean, the Korean community said “Oh no, I feel so sorry for all the Koreans that are living in America. What if they are treated badly? What about all those Koreans that want to study abroad in the U.S.? What if it gets too dangerous to go?” Some people even thought, ‘Oh, it’s only 32 people dead.’ Most of us only worried about ourselves, the Koreans. We only worried about how the Americans were going to react to the Koreans. Nobody really felt sorry for the victims, or their loved ones.

But setting aside race and nationality, we, as human beings, should feel sorry for all the victims of the Virginia Tech massacre. Those victims were human beings too, just like us. They had family, friends, and lovers. They had a life. But all of a sudden, on a typical school day, everything was taken away from them. This isn’t just something that happens in America. This could also happen in Korea.

But on the other hand, Koreans shouldn’t feel embarrassed about the fact that Cho was Korean. Even though he was Korean by heritage and nationality, he had moved to America when he was very young. His family never visited Korea again after they moved. Absorbed by the American culture, Cho was American in every other way. Also, Cho did not represent the whole Korean community. He was a very disturbed person, and not receiving the help that he needed, he ended up shooting 32 random people before he killed himself.

In conclusion, I pray that the victims rest in peace, and that they will never be forgotten. For everybody else, including the survivors, the loved ones of the victims, and Cho Seung-Hui’s family, I hope that they may not be haunted by their memories anymore, and that they may be able to go on with their lives, even if it’s very painful. Lastly, for Cho Seung-Hui, I pray that he may also rest in peace, for he was a troubled person.

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        04-18-2010     Leigh Gilholm Fisher        

This was an excellent composition; you captured the mood and focused on a part of this tragedy that was commonly overlooked over here in the States. There was mention of potential divide, but it wasn't given very much attention in most media sources. It added to the overall feeling of the piece. Very good work, you captured the situation well.

~Leigh of the Commenting Community

        09-26-2009     Cynthia Baello        

I like the openness of your work, and the frank way you presented your views on this tragedy. the piece also delineates the racial conflict of the gunman being Korean, and how that also affects the whole case. Violence always carries with it a loss, the numbers cannot really be quantified in terms of grief and sorrow, it is always a loss. The presentation of facts as to the mental state of the gunman as you portrayed it here balances your story, and makes it unbiased, just telling it as it is. You did very well in this area and it is an excellent
characteristic of a true writer.

        04-18-2008     Jennifer Campbell-Kletzli        

It is very shocking to see the way people react to such things like shootings. The way that they think that they'll be shunned because of their nationality truely does become a real fear. They tend to think back to the past towards bad times and wonder if such an event will cause a relapse of history.

The lives that become the cost of a shooting are always mourned for. In the high school that I graduated from, there was a shooting (before I started going there) where the principal and a student were killed. Their pictures hang up on a wall for everybody to see.

Its somethinig that nobody forgets.

Thank you for sharing this, Jane. I think that it is a very good piece of work and I hope you got an A on it. I do see where there is a spacing error, though in your comments. The very first line "speaking competition(3 minute " Just thought I'd point it out.

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