Hokies Unite to Honor Memory of Deriek Crouse
Reporter: Lauren Compton | Videographer: Parker SlaybaughBlacksburg, VA - Many called slain Virginia Tech Officer Deriek Crouse a guardian angel, and thousands gathered for a candlelight vigil in his honor Friday night.
Crouse's family members were also in attendance.
The big message of the night: the Hokies Will Prevail.
"We're such a loving caring, kind-hearted community," said Kelsey Carr, a junior at Virginia Tech. "When one of our own Hokies...when something happens to them, we all come."
It is a scene all too familiar for the Virginia Tech campus. The community lost 33 students here just four years ago.
"For many people it brings back painful memories that are difficult," said VP for student affairs Edward Spencer. "We're a very strong community."
A community that vows to not be defined by the violence here, both past and present.
"We don't want to be known as a place where tragedy sticks," said sophomore Cameron Whhing. "We go by Ut Prosim."
Ut Prosim is Latin for "That I May Serve," one of the values on pillars above the chapel.
The Virginia Tech German club made replicas of those pillars where people wrote messages for Crouse.
"We know how to care for one another," Spencer said. "I see that going on with all of our community members."
Even in their sadness the Hokie nation is still proud and unified.
"We are still here," Whhing said. "And we're going to make it through."
Crouse is the first officer killed on campus in the university's history.
His funeral will be held on Monday at 2 p.m. at the Cassell Coliseum at Virginia Tech.