Tuesday, July 31, 2012

I was sitting at my computer today looking through the headlines and not surprisingly I was inundated with stories about the tragedy in Colorado. I have been following the news stories about the shooting since it happened, feeling helpless and wishing there was something I could do. Then I came across a story about two of the families who lost a loved one. A story about their desire that the media stop using the gunman’s name and turn the focus to the victims.

After learning of these requests, I knew then that I can do something. I can tell you about the victims and I will do it without naming the cowardly gunman. I won’t give him that power. I won’t even give him power by writing about the loss of life. I will empower the victims and their families by writing about how they lived.

Jonathan Blunk was a 26 year old husband and father. He served in the Navy and did three tours in both the North Arabian Sea and the Persian Gulf. Jonathan was a certified firefighter and EMT. He had goals for th the future of re-inlisting and becoming a Navy SEAL.

AJ, Alexander J. Boik, was 18. He was someone who loved to make others laugh. He recently graduated from Gateway High School where he was in orchestra and played baseball. He had a lovely girlfriend whom people expected him to marry some day.

Jesse Childress worked as a cyber-systems operator for the Air Force. He was 29 years old. His friends say was a fun guy to be with. Someone who liked to laugh and had a positive outlook. He was a good friend, and good to have on the bowling team.

At 51, Gordon Cowden was a dedicated family man. Though he lived in Colorado, his family describes him as a “true Texas gentleman’’. He had a wonderful sense of humor, loved travel and the outdoors, and was a business owner.

Jessica Ghawi, who also went by the last name Redfield, was a hardworking, ambitious 24 year old young woman who was pursuing her dream to be in sports journalism. She lived life to the fullest with her vivacious personality.

27 year old John Larimer was the youngest of five siblings who grew up in a suburb of Chicago, Ill. He joined the Navy just over a year ago and was a cryptologic technician where his.  resourcefulness, good character and curiosity made him a good fit in his job.

Matt McQuinn was 27. He was an Ohio native who worked at Target with his girlfriend. They both recently transferred to Aurora. He was a great, outgoing person who put others before himself.

Green Bay Packers fan, Micayla Medek was an independent 23 year old who loved going out with her friends. She worked at Subway and was taking juggling classes at a local community college.

Little Veronica Moser-Sullivan was just 6 years old. She had sweet, lovable personality and brought joy to all who knew her. She had just learned to swim, and was the center of her parent’s world.

Alex Sullivan was celebrating his 27th birthday as well as his first wedding anniversary. He was an avid movie fan and comic book geek, who loved the Mets. He was known as a gentle giant who always had a smile on his face and gave great hugs.

Alexander Teves was 24. He had a passion for life. He competed in Tough Mudder competitions, had a master’s degree  in counseling psychology and interned at a school with special needs children. He was a loyal friend and fun loving guy.

32 year old Rebecca Wingo was a vibrant mother of two. She was a “loving, giving, brilliant soul”. After working in the Air Force for 11 years, she was going back to school to work with foster children who were getting older and ready to age out of the system.

Though it may not be much, I feel I have done a small part in taking power away from a person that deserves none. Too often we sensationalize the perpetrator while the victims get lost in the media hype. I for one, will not give him that privilege. I’m just sayin’.

1 comment:

  1. It's about time someone knew how to use the media. They say you can't believe what you read in the papers, and I say we should add to that to include All the media. This would include blogs. I for one say, "It's about time the emphasis was put where it belongs." I've all but stopped reading papers and watching the news, not needing any reminders, especially those that include the pictures of the crime scene photos. Every time a good person(s) is taken out of this world, it becomes colder. The good guys(us)are loosing the war 1 crime at a time. I for one think we need to come up with a better game plan, though I will admit I can't come up with answers or suggestions to contribute, I see Jennifer has already come up with one. Thank you.