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Queen meets survivors of campus massacre May 4, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in The Royals.
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The Queen today expressed Britain’s “deepest sympathies” over the Virginia Tech massacre as she met survivors of the deadliest school shooting in US history.

“As a state, and as a nation, you are still coming to terms with the dreadful events at Virginia Tech,” she said in an address to the Virginia state legislature at the start of a six-day visit to the United States. “My heart goes out to all those who have been affected,” she said, before heading into a private meeting with some of the survivors of the campus rampage a fortnight ago which left 32 students and tutors dead. On behalf of the people of the United Kingdom, I extend my deepest sympathies at this time of such grief and sorrow,” the Queen told the state General Assembly, the New World’s oldest representative body.

On the steps up to the assembly building, the Queen earlier passed an honour guard that included 11 members of the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets in blue and white dress uniform and sabers. The contingent would normally have numbered 12 but a gap was left for Matthew La Porte, who was one of the victims of gunman Cho Seung-Hui’s killing spree. La Porte, 20, was a member of both the university’s main cadet corps and its US Air Force Reserve Officers’ Training Corps.

The 11 cadets taking part in the royal ceremony were all present on the campus on April 16 when Cho ran amok. None was injured, Corps commandant Major General Jerrold Allen said. “This is a very important event for the state of Virginia and for the entire United States,” he said. “We are extremely grateful that we were provided with the opportunity to take part and to honour one of our fallen comrades.”

A visit by the Queen to the Virginia Tech campus at Blacksburg, 350km west of the state capital Richmond, has been ruled out.

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