Warm Hearth Village Walkers Unite In Remembrance

April 24, 2024

Thirty-five Warm Hearth Village (WHV) residents, employees, and family members walked 3.2 miles on the village campus in honor and remembrance of the 32 lost at Virginia Tech on April 16, 2007.

WHV residents John Hillison, former Virginia Tech Agricultural Education professor and department head and Dr. Richard Shepherd, a retired physician who specialized in emergency and family medicine, mapped 3.2 miles on the campus and recruited the walkers.

Many at Warm Hearth have direct connections to Virginia Tech and those who were involved that day. Hillison participated in the first Virginia Tech Run for Remembrance in 2008 and has been there every year since. The WHV version always starts with a group photo followed by solemn words to remember the day, those who were lost, the first responders and those who were healed. The walk is not only to remember but to help us heal after all this time. “This year as I walked, I shared my experience with another walker who was a student at the time. It’s the first time I’ve done that and I realized just how much we all still have to process,” Hillison said.

Resident Ken Winans said, “This is our first time being part of the walk at Warm Hearth as we’re new to the community. It was special to see the way residents here come together in support of the greater community. Warm Hearth is great that way and we feel lucky to be a part of a community that cares.”