Last week we asked readers to recall where they were and their initial reaction when they heard the news of the shootings at Virginia Tech.

My husband called me at work to tell me that our son, Jason, a senior at Virginia Tech, was safe, but that there had been a shooting on campus.

After feeling relief that our son and his three roommates were safe, I felt disbelief. The first day of classes was canceled in the fall because a man with a gun was loose on campus. Here it was just three weeks before our son's graduation, and it was happening again.

I didn't realize at first how much more serious and horrific this shooting would turn out to be. I started reading the Virginia Tech Web site, and then a coworker came to tell me that a large number of people had been killed. As the death count rose, I couldn't believe that this was happening at Virginia Tech.

My husband and I had just visited our son over the weekend, and had walked around the campus on a beautiful and peaceful spring day. We had left him on Sunday morning to drive back home. We had no idea that one day later so many students and faculty would lose their lives, be wounded, or have their lives changed forever by the events of April 16.

Joan Betzner

Thorndale