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Mourners leave a memorial service for Kevin Granata, a professor of engineering science and mechanics at Virginia Tech killed in Monday's attacks.
The family of Virginia Tech gunman Seung-hui Cho has released a statement in which they apologize for his actions and say they feel hopeless, helpless and lost. The expression of grief came as memorial services were held around the country to honor the 32 people killed in the attacks.
Cho's sister, Sun-Kyung Cho spoke on behalf of her family, saying that her brother has "made the world weep. We are living a nightmare." She went on to say that her family is deeply sorry for Seung-hui Cho's actions, which she called horrible and senseless. And, she said, she and her parents are praying for those injured and the families of those who lost their lives.
The family's statement, issued to the Associated Press, was the first public comment by the family since the Monday attacks.
In Virginia, Gov. Tim Kaine declared today a day of mourning.
On the drill field of the Virginia Tech campus, a few hundred people gathered for a moment of silence to honor the victims. Students and college staff came dressed head to toe in Hokie colors — maroon and orange. At noon, the crowd bowed their heads in a moment of reflection. When it was over, a few people started chanting and, slowly, hesitantly, more voices joined in.
Blacksburg resident Elena Bryant was among the crowd. She's an undergraduate admissions counselor at Virginia Tech and for her, the moment of silence was a chance to issue a silent wish.
"For me it was an apology, to say to the parents, I'm so sorry," Bryant said. "We failed you, we didn't mean to but the way circumstances unfolded we know we did. There's no apology ever good enough to say, no words could convey the sincere sense of failure. For me being here it was just a way to say, so sorry, so sorry."
Memorials were set up on the edges of the drill field — one included a white tent filled with bouquets of flowers and lit candles. Dozens of hand-written condolence notes were posted on the walls.
One read, "To those we lost, you will always be remembered. To those left behind, you will always have our support. God bless the families of these fallen Hokies."
A memorial service for professor Kevin P. Granata, one of Cho's victims on the Virginia Tech campus, was also held today. His fellow professors described Granata, who was 46, as a "world class" researcher and mentor to his students.