Many wrote about a conversation Steve Inskeep had with Ishmar Puri, a professor and head of the Engineering Science & Mechanics at Virginia Tech University. They talked about the university's reaction to a report about the shootings on campus last spring. Professor Puri hid in Norris Hall during the shootings. All but two of the 32 students, including the shooter, were killed there. But he says he has asked the university not to raze that building or make a memorial of it, but to maintain it as a place for education.
Susan Crowell was getting ready to take her daughter to college for the first time when she heard those words from Professor Puri. She writes:
"As I listened, I was not thinking about how to protect my daughter in the event of a tragedy like the Virginia Tech shootings, but was instead hoping she will have professors like Puri. It is his wisdom that I hope my daughter learns from her professors."
That got the attention of Lauren Jackson, listening in Lexington, North Carolina:
"He survived a terrible, terrible tragedy and he was able to turn it into something positive. It was the right way to handle what had happened."
Several of you wrote to take issue with the profile of the town of Pontotoc, Mississippi. Four soldiers from the town have been killed in Iraq. Town residents have lined the streets and highways for miles to pay their respects at the funerals. But listener Tom Walters of San Diego was angered when our reporter said the residents of Pontotoc don't debate the Iraq war.
Walters writes:"I'm sorry for your loss, Pontotoc, but as long as our country has communities like yours — not willing to "debate the Iraq war," — your sons and daughters will continue to die in Iraq."
Sharee Baker Grazda of Pagosa Springs, Colorado, sees it differently:
"I was born and raised" in Pontotoc, and my mother tells me every time a young man has lost his life in Iraq. Perhaps to say the town supports the war might give someone the wrong impression. What I see the town supporting is its young people and their families."
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