In the Shadow of Death
Ann and I are blessed in that we have come no closer to violence in our lives than that which was recently visited upon the son of our friends. This young man was wounded by the gunman on the Virginia Tech Campus in April 2007. He has since recovered from his wounds, but will never be the same. Thankfully, he seems to be growing wiser from the terrible experience. His story was on the front page of the Saturday September 1 Roanoke Times.
The August 30 ABC Nightline offers an extensive investigation into the mind and life of Cho, the gunman disturbed and twisted all his young life.Â It is clear our nation is still stunned by this shocking and senseless killing in such numbers in the “safe place” of a college campus.
But while I don’t want to belittle in any way the suffering and haunting that still goes on for thousands whose lives were touched by this one day of tragedy, I also think what an isolated and uncommon trauma this is when compared to the losses those in Iraq experience every single day. And it seems so much more heinous and evil to have one’s neighbors, family and comrades killed by trained soldiers from either side or by indoctrinated but fully competent “insurgents” than by Virginia Tech’s truly pyschopathic loner.
Can there be a single person in all of Iraq not touched tens of times over by senseless violent deaths of those known and loved? Their homes destroyed and towns beseiged, a constant reign of fear hangs like a poisonous cloud over their present and future lives.
Cho came and went in one day, and look at what he’s done to us. What must it be like to live in a nation that knows no peace?