As a writer and one-time American studies major, I often find myself looking at news and media and wondering how much of what I'm hearing is truth and how much is a step to the right or left of fact. After the horrible tragedy Monday, I listened to several news reports and watched with horror as the number of dead rose. There are no words in any language that can describe such carnage, or that can adequately express the grief of those who lost loved ones in such a violent senseless way. I don't mean to be part of the cacophony of voices expressing opinion, horror, or national grief. There is no way my shock can compare to that of parents, students, wives, husbands, children who are living first-hand the consequences of selfish and sinful humanity. I won't dare touch on motive, won't mention the killer, won't debate sin versus sickness. To those who lost people close to them, those things don't matter.
What matters is that they lost someone they loved. That someone is not a group lying broken and bloody on a classroom floor. S/he is an individual, loved, cherished and now gone. As the media repeats over and over again that this is the worst mass murder in American history, one must ask - would this much attention be given to one soul, one broken body, one grieving family? Are we horrified by the sheer number of deaths, by the violent manner of the murders, or are we truly grieving the humanity lost that day?
Media and opinion aside, let us not lose sight of the fact that this act was not committed against a group of thirty-two, but rather against thirty-two individuals. Each should be mourned, his life remembered not because he was part of a national catastrophe, but because he was loved.
Shirlee's word count for Tuesday - 2,025