We had a very surreal moment over a quick dinner at a pub in Blacksburg, Va., tonight.
Correspondent Don Teague and I entered the restaurant to grab a bite to eat and see if we could find a TV to watch NBC Nightly News. Inside music was playing, beer was flowing and pool balls were flying. On the surface, it seemed like a typical happy hour in a typical college town. But, then it was 6:30 p.m. and someone at a nearby table asked the waiter if one of the TV channels could be changed to NBC.
Within five minutes, the entire bar scene had turned somber. Four more TVs were turned to NBC and the rock and roll music overhead was turned off. All eyes silently watched the latest news.
A woman at a table behind us started to cry as she watched story after story of a place very near and dear to her. We caught eyes and she knew that Don and I worked for NBC by the peacock badge around our necks. As we paid our tab and left, we said what little we could to express our grief, "We're very sorry for the loss in your community and bless you."
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As officials, students and families struggle to come to terms with the tragedy at Virginia Tech, a team of MSNBC.com reporters and editors and NBC News producers and correspondents is on the scene.