President Obama has called for moment of silence Monday January 10 at 11 a.m. Eastern. He will observe this moment with staff on the White House South Lawn remembering the victims of the shooting in Arizona.

As residents of Blacksburg the tragedy of violence is all too familiar. I ask everyone to reach out in your own way to remember the victims and their families.

Our democracy is strong, strong enough to weather any such act. We all need to be reminded that opinions and policy should never become personal. Civil discourse is the foundation of our society and we need to guard that foundation in the same way we fight to protect all our other freedoms as Americans.

As we remember the victims, let us renew this commitment.