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As Virginia Tech shooting anniversary nears, Annandale victim’s memorial relocated

A memorial for the late 19-year-old Virginia Tech student Mary Read has been relocated and enhanced with greenery.

The Annandale resident was one of 32 people killed on April 16, 2007, in the shooting at the university.

A rededication event will take place in Canterbury Woods Park (5018 Wakefield Chapel Road) at 1 p.m. on Saturday (April 16) — 15 years after the attack.

“This was her park,” said Braddock District Supervisor James Walkinshaw, who spoke with the family this week. “So it was important to them that the memorial stay in this park.”

The site near Braddock Road that the memorial had occupied for over a decade frequently flooded. County staff worked with Read’s family and local advocates to find a “more appropriate and accessible” spot in the park, according to a statement from Walkinshaw.

“Over time, the flooding down there has gotten worse and worse — to the point it’s submerged much of the time,” Walkinshaw said Tuesday (April 12) during a board meeting.

Earlier this week, a crew relocated the existing bench and plaque to their new spot, which is by the parking lot at a higher elevation.

“The Read family [is] really excited for this and appreciative of the community’s efforts to make this happen,” Walkinshaw said, adding that the community’s efforts will ensure Read’s memory is respected and treated with the dignity that it deserves.

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