"Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest awhile." - from today's Gospel, Mark 6:30-34
Jesus' words seem like a soft blanket in which to wrap ourselves in after the Colorado shootings.
One of my colleagues here at ChicagoNow wrote about the attention heaped on the shooter in this tragedy. Her article can be found here. And in a way it's true. The media does seem to glorify the perpetrator and the victims names are forgotten. And when the next tragedy happens, they'll do it again.
Except maybe for this one:
"I say all the time that every moment we have to live our life is a blessing. So often I have found myself taking it for granted. Every hug from a family member. Every laugh we share with friends. Even the times of solitude are all blessings. Every second of every day is a gift. After Saturday evening, I know I truly understand how blessed I am for each second I am given." - Jessica Ghawi, victim in the Colorado shooting.
Ironically, Jessica wrote those words on her blog after escaping a shooting in a Toronto mall.
I remember over the years the mass murderers Richard Speck, John Wayne Gacy and a long list of others including Columbine and Northern Illinois University. But to be honest, I don't remember any of the names of the victims. That's my fault. Not the media's.
In prayer I'm going to "name names." As many as I can find. And yes, I'll pray for the shooter, but I think I'll pray more for his family.
Here is a list of the names of those who have been definitively identified:
Jessica N. Ghawi, 24
Veronica Moser-Sullivan, 6
John T. Larimer, 27
Alexander J. Boik, 18
Jesse E. Childress, 29
Jonathan T. Blunk, 26
Rebecca Ann Wingo, 32
Alex M. Sullivan, 27
Gordon W. Cowden, 51
Micayala C. Medek, 23
Alexander C. Teves, 24
Another victim, Matthew R. McQuinn, 27, is awaiting definitive identification.
Let's remember their names, not the shooter's.
(Names came from an article in the Chicago Tribune)