Thursday, December 06, 2007

For my fallen neighbors

I am having a hard time wrapping my head around what went on in Omaha yesterday. When the news blurb came on the radio, interrupting the Christmas music dance section with Little Monster, we thought it had happened somewhere else. It always happens somewhere else. But when they said "Westroads" a sick feeling erupted in my stomach. Fun Christmas dancing was over. We turned on the news and heard about the sad events that had taken place. This is the second deadliest shooting spree in Nebraska. The deadliest in such a short period of time. The worst shooting spree was spread over a few days. I know people say it whenever something like this happen, but people, things like this just don't happen here. I will not publish the name of the killer, because I don't want him to be famous. That's what he wanted. Some of his last words. My mother and I were talking about the number of victims today. The number is so close to the deadliest, that we think perhaps he was counting. He'd done his research and knew what it would take to get him a place in the history books as the shooter in Nebraska's deadliest shooting spree. He fell short (thank God), but enough people were injured that perhaps he thought he had done the job.

It was a very scary day for all of us in southeast Nebraska and western Iowa. I was grateful for the move I am in the midst of. Thankful that work has been so busy that I haven't had time to edit the 30 blog posts I have saved on my computer. Thankful that I had something to do besides sit around think about what had happened. This area of the country is very close-knit. Omaha is less than an hour from here. I go there often because they have the nearest military base. It is basically home. I was at that mall a few weeks ago. We entered and exited through Von Maur. As I end this, I don't want to focus on the person who committed the crime. I want to focus on my neighbors. Because as the days go by people will talk and we will find out how we are connected to our neighbors that were witnesses and our neighbors who became victims:

Gary Scharf, a 48 year old man is from Lincoln. The same town I'm from.
John McDonald was shopping with his wife. His life was cut short. 48 years old.
Angie Schuster was only 36 years old.
Maggie Webb was 24 years old. She had barely begun to live!
Janet Jorgensen was 66 years old an was an employee at Von Maur.
Dianne Trent, 53, was also an employee.
Gary Joy, another employee was 56.
Beverly Flynn was 47. She worked part-time wrapping gifts, probably so she could get some"extra" gifts for her three children.

1 comment:

Granny Sue said...

It breaks your heart, doesn't it? We hear it daily from the war zone, but in our own backyard it's truly terrible.

This man does not define Omaha or Nebraska. People like you define your home. Prayers for all of you, and for the families of those lost.