I vow to remember these names.
I put them here, now, symbolically and virtually in my mind, so that they will not be forgotten. Corny. Cheesy. I know. I put things in here cuz this is where I put slices of brain so I can find them later, and I don't want to forget these names. I pray and hope in the days and weeks to come, we learn more about these people. Their potential. Their accomplishments. Their hopes and dreams. Their lives. These are the lives we should take to heart and find interest. They came from all walks of life. Many of them were born and raised in Virginia, but a few were from New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Iowa, Massachusetts, Puerto Rico, and even as far reaching as Indonesia, India, Egypt, and Peru. It is not just one city that is in mourning. Not just one country. This has affected many fellow human beings across an entire planet. Family members. Friends. And temporally speaking, this affects people who would have met them in the future, but now they never will. Maybe YOU were supposed to meet one of them, and now you never will.
The promise and potential that was housed in these thirty-two souls is gone now. These people still had so many things they wanted to do with their lives. So many sunrises and sunsets to take for granted. So many birthdays and holidays and special events to attend. They were studying a wide range of subjects from Civil Engineering to Foreign Languages to Animal Sciences. Perhaps one or more of these thirty-two would have learned how to time travel, or cure cancer, or take better care of horses, or run for congress, or come up with a new flavor of ice cream, or become a world-reknowned artist, or run marathons, or make you laugh ten years from now in a moment when you really needed a laugh, or continue to teach and inspire in others greatness.
One stupid idiot who thought his petty problems were more important than those of thirty-two others... One small mind had the power so painfully briefly, to snuff out the candles of thirty-two lights of humanity. One trigger finger. Thirty-two bullets. That's all it took. Why is the media - and why are we - so drawn to that little guy? The thirty-third one? The coward who hid behind a gun? That is not the name we should honor. It's not the life upon which we should dwell.
And why does that number haunt me? Thirty-two. I can't remember my ex-wife's birthday. I can't remember my ex-girlfriend's phone number. I can't remember a lot of things, but I have branded to my memory the number of people whose hearts were stopped on Monday April 16th. twenty-some-odd others were injured, but it's the thirty-two that stick in my head.
I wanted to ignore this. I was originally not going to say anything about it in my blog. I don't know these people. Dwelling on their names and their lives won't bring them back. I have found myself growing less and less interested in current events in recent months. The war in Iraq. I can't stop it. I tried to vote that bastard out of office. I'm powerless before the crap that goes on on this planet. Hell, I'm powerless with regards to pretty much everything going on in my own life. Who was it that said all men live in quiet desperation? Yet we persevere, somehow. We struggle forward. We don't freak out and blow up other people. Is it not beginning to look, in some circles just outside the mainstream, that this mentality of taking to arms and blowing up innocents is deemed fashionable to some? I don't like this trend, and I don't think parading the perpetrators of such fashion and encouraging their behavior is the right thing to do.
Nor is mourning the loss. Rather we should celebrate the fallen - thank fate or God or whatever you prefer to thank, for allowing these souls to exist on this Earth and do what good they did while they were here. The fond memories family and friends have of their presence on this spinning rock. That's what should be honored and treasured. Not the pathetic ramblings of that gun-wielding buffoon.
But then, I'm just another pathetic rambling fool, sans the guns. What do I know? Well. I hope to know these thirty-two names. It's not much, but the best way we honor those no longer with us is to remember them. I learned that from my Dad. =)