James Montgomery always had something to prove.
First, that a middle child could stand out by going to college and law school – a rarity for black Americans in the 1950s.
Then, that blacks could excel in law school despite hostility from white peers.
CHAMPAIGN – Shawn Marmion relished preparing and filing his son's income tax return. It wasn't because he was expecting a whopping refund.
"When I folded up the form, I did it so slowly. That was the strangest feeling. I realized that as his dad, this is one of the last physical things I got to do for him," said Shawn Marmion. "It was a hard moment, but I treasured it."
SADORUS – Brent Stierwalt was in his 9 a.m. class Monday morning when he and his classmates heard sirens.
"People were getting up and looking out the window to see if we could see anything," said Stierwalt, a Virginia Tech sophomore and 2005 Unity High School graduate said.
TOLONO – Army Pfc. Lucas Starcevich never wanted his family to worry.
His mother, Ava Tomson, spoke with him three times last week and had last talked to him on Friday.
BLACKSBURG, Va. – It was on the basketball court that Austin Cloyd and Beth Elliott got to know one another – or rather, on the bench. When they weren't in the game, they'd sit and talk, sometimes to the dismay of their coach.
"We liked to sit the bench together. That's how we became good friends," Elliott said.
For more than 24 hours, Bryan and Renee Cloyd desperately searched for word of their daughter's fate.
The Cloyds hadn't heard from 18-year-old Austin since the horrific shootings Monday morning at Virginia Tech University, where the former Centennial High School student had enrolled last fall as an international studies and French major.
BLACKSBURG, Va. – A former Centennial High School student was among those killed in the shooting rampage in Blacksburg, Va., officials said early this afternoon.
Austin Cloyd, a Virginia Tech student in international studies, died when a gunman shot and killed 32 people before turning a gun on himself Monday morning.
OGDEN – Sue Voges never envisioned herself as a poster child for raising awareness about breast cancer.
"That wasn't my intent," said the 50-year-old Ogden woman, who is a master sergeant with the Illinois State Police, working as an investigator in Champaign.
The school was atop a hill, and Charles Joseph Smith remembers looking down onto Chicago's Beverly neighborhood and wanting more.
"I wanted to go to regular school so badly," he said, thinking back to his time as a student at the Beacon School for children with special needs.
Chinese philosopher Confucius is credited with the proverb "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."
China scholar Robert Oxnam can relate.