In 2007, in the deadliest shooting rampage in modern U.S. history, student Seung-Hui Cho killed 32 people on the campus of Virginia Tech before taking his own life.
Tuesday marks the sixth anniversary of the shootings. Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell has named April 16 as the official day of remembrance.
At the stroke of midnight, a ceremony candle was lit and will remain lit for 24 hours.
At 9:43 Tuesday morning, a statewide moment of silence was observed followed by the reading of every victim's name.
Every victim's name brings back the pain for Peter Read, but none greater than hearing his daughter's.
"Mary Karen Read, age 19, Annandale, Virginia," the speaker read.
"What people always remember about Mary is her smile," her father added.
Peter Read joined other families and survivors outside the Capitol to mark the anniversary of the shooting.
"We had bullets coming through our door, and everyone hit the floor," sad survivor Colin Goddard.
Since surviving the shooting, Goddard has focused his energy on gun control. Joined by families from Tucson, Aurora and Newtown, Goddard is urging Congress to pass comprehensive background checks.
Goddard added, "It's the best step we can take as a country if we want to get serious about keeping guns from dangerous people."
Their fight will be a tough one as many in Congress say they will stand for the Second Amendment.
But it's a fight Peter Read is ready for.
"I really can't give up, because I have to speak for Mary," he said. "...I have to speak for other victims."