Thursday, December 06, 2007

Another Tragedy

This time in my own back yard.

Nine people were shot and killed yesterday. Two more are critical. A kid. A kid with an assault rifle opened fire on shoppers and employees and then killed himself.

In a metro area of half a million people you'd think this wouldn't spider web and attach itself to me or mine. But less than a day later and without knowing the names of any of the victims, I'm finding out what a small town Omaha is.

My cousin and one of my co-workers had been in the store right before the shootings. On Monday, my daughter and I were just blocks away at another store in a nearby mall. We could see Von Maur from the parking lot. Yesterday, my daughter was filling in a shift in a different store branch, ironically because a manager was recovering from the trauma of a robbery, at a mall just miles away from the shootings. She returned to her home store -- to safety -- just a half hour before the shooting began. My daughter hasn't been asked to work at Westroads -- yet -- but the store is just five bays away from Von Maur. Thinking of what-ifs makes my head spin.

I offered my prayers and sympathies to the victims of the Virginia Tech shootings just a few months ago.

Today, I offer them to my neighbors.