Virginia Tech re-opens, students return to the campus, site of the massacre
After the memorial services held in the United States and in South Korea, the University Board has offered the students three choices: continue their studies to finish the semester; they can continue their studies through the end of the semester next week, take a grade based on what they have done so far, or withdraw from a course without penalty.

Washington (AsiaNews/Agencies) – After a series of memorial ceremonies Virginia Tech students returned to their beleaguered campus, shocked by the massacre of 32 people on April 16th by  Cho Seung-hui.

Aware of the effect the drama has had on students, the university has given them three choices: They can continue their studies through the end of the semester next week, take a grade based on what they have done so far, or withdraw from a course without penalty.

Most students had decided to return to their studies: “I want to go back.”  said Paul Deyerle, a student who lost a dear friend in the shooting – “It's just really strange to just stop going”. Ashleigh Shifflett, who participated in a memorial to the victims, adds: “"I was happy to see my family, but I felt like I needed to be here, and when I came back here, it was like I'm home”.

During the course of the last week, the Virginia and South Korean Communities held ceremonies to mourn the victims. Seoul Buddhists organized a meeting yesterday “to pray for the repose of the souls of those who died in Virginia Tech”. A banner across Hwagyesa temple read: “including Cho”.

The Christians of the  “Land of the morning sun” celebrated masses and special religious ceremonies: in the Capital’s Cathedral Card. Cheong said mass in suffrage for the souls of the deceased and blessed an altar erected “in memory” of them.

In Virginia, following the great prayer vigil held the night after the tragedy – which President Bush also attended – the local Protestant Church remembered each single student who died.

The Pastor at United Methodist Church in Blacksburg, home to Virginia Tech, concluded a commemorative mass saying: “It still seems unbelievable ... We will never understand it”.

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