I was… the head of Sharkey’s

I was at Sharkey’s on the morning of April 16th….upstairs in the office when I heard the police driving through Main Street urging everyone to stay in and away from the windows. I had no idea what could be taking place. A little while later a friend stopped by to tell me about what was going on. His wife and daughter were both on campus in lock down. The news was starting to come in about what was happening on campus.

I remember thinking that the town needed to deal with being victimized by being victorious.

My staff let me know that other restaurants and downtown retailers were shutting down for the day and they suggested that we do the same. Their reasoning was that it wouldn’t be right to be open for business with what was happening in Blacksburg. I remember thinking that the town needed to deal with being victimized by being victorious.

I thought that we were more than a business, we were a part of the community and we needed to be open to help people deal with the situation. I told my staff that all the revenue from that day and the next would be donated to whatever fund was set up for the victims, and that anyone who could not work did not have to…I completely understood.

When something like April 16th happens it is important for a community to unite in love.

The entire staff of Sharkey’s came in to help that day. It was very emotional for everyone and it was challenging to work. The team worked together, relieving and supporting each other when the sadness was just too much to bear.

When something like April 16th happens it is important for a community to unite in love. My focus throughout that day and in the aftermath of the tragedy was completely on helping people transcend their anger, not that it wasn’t completely understandable, but so often it leads to hate and that was the last thing Blacksburg needed. We needed to understand something that was completely incomprehensible.

In the end what I came to know and I think what Blacksburg showed the world was that through uniting in love we can overcome anything.

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