I’ve been toying with this for a while. As I see Shannon Johnson‘s name spread around social media, it seems to be the perfect time to post it.
Who’s that guy who murdered all of those kids at Sandy Hook? What were the names of the Boston Marathon bombers? Who shot all those people at the church in South Carolina? What was the name of the Aurora movie theater shooter?
Before you answer, let me ask a few more questions. Who was Victoria Soto? Who was Martin Richard? Who was Sean Collier? Who was Clementa Pinckney? Who was Jonathan Blunk?
I could probably answer the first questions with a little bit of thought, but I won’t. I actually don’t care about the answers. With each of these tragedies, the murderer’s name is burned into history. I make a different choice. I make an effort to remember at least one victim’s name.
Victoria Soto was probably the most famous of them. She was the teacher who hid her students and convinced the murderer that they were not in the classroom. Martin Richard was a second-grader killed by one of the Boston Marathon bombs. Sean Collier was the police officer murdered as the bombers tried to escape. Clementa Pinckney was one of the ministers of the Emanuel Methodist Church in Charleston, South Carolina. Jonathan Blunk was a war veteran who probably knew he was about to die and so chose to make his last act saving a life. He threw himself on top of a friend during the Aurora movie theater shooting.
These murderers wanted their names to live forever in infamy, but I prefer to let them die. These people they murdered wanted nothing more than to live in peace. Theirs are the names I choose to remember.