Daniel Perez Cueva was a junior majoring in international studies. He was 21 years old and the son of Betty Cueva of Woodbridge, Va., and Flavio Perez of Peru.
Daniel left his homeland of Peru with his mother and sister in 2000 and attended two high schools and two community colleges before enrolling in Virginia Tech in fall 2006. In high school, Daniel was an accomplished swimmer, played tennis, and ran cross-country. He was a member of the National Honor Society and graduated from C.D. Hylton High School with honors in 2004.
He was a hard worker and accomplished anything he put his mind to. He had a big, beautiful smile; was a great friend; and was a wonderful brother and son. Since Daniel was little, he always had big ideas about how to fix things around the house (like an alarm clock that never did get fixed), or he ended up destroying them because he got really angry or frustrated when the repairs didn’t go as planned.
Daniel loved to play around the house imitating superheroes and singing a lot, which he never stopped doing even though his sister made fun of him because he had a special way of doing it. His singing always brought happiness to the hearts of his family.
Daniel had a one-year-old Bassett hound named Shiloh, on whom he lavished attention and whose photo was at the front of his personal profile in an online social chat room.
Being heard and making peace in the world was a dream Daniel had. He and his sister reminded their parents that there was always someone around who cared about them and what they did and who wanted to see them happy. Daniel believed that God put everyone here to make a difference in someone’s life. He loved to see his friends happy, and many of his friends viewed him as a role model. They said they were honored to have been able to call him “friend.”
Daniel’s nickname was “Korki” because he acted goofy and did the most unexpected things. However, he always tried to make his parents and sister proud of him.
Daniel had chosen to work toward a career in international services because he liked bringing people together and making the world a peaceful place to live. He made his voice heard and encouraged the people around him to be better individuals. One of his friends was quoted as saying, “He was an amazing friend. I will never forget that.”
© 2009 Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University