Saturday, November 14, 2009 | 8:44 PM
Amber Bahr was nineteen when she was shot in the stomach.
Micheal Pearson was twenty-one and reportedly shot two times in the chest and once in the spine. He died on the scene.
Francheska Velez, also twenty-one, had just returned from Iraq. She was pregnant. She was transported to a hospital where she died just hours later.
These are just three of the thirty one names, just three of the thirty one faces that were brutally shot at 1:34 on November 5th at Fort Hood, in Killeen, Texas.
Major Nidal Malik Hasan, an army psychiatrist, walked into the Soldier Readiness Center last Thursday at approximately 1:30 p.m. He looked like just another man in the crowd, just another person waiting for the college graduation ceremony for soldiers and family members. What nobody knew, however, was that he was carrying two hand-guns, a semi automatic weapon, and a .375, and that he planned to use them.
He opened fire on the crowd, shooting without discrimination. Forty-four people went down. Thirteen of them would die, twelve soldiers and one civilian. Thirty-one people were wounded before Hasan was finally shot four times by one of the surviving victims.
The base shut down immediately and switched to high alert. Children were told to stay in their schools rooms, and parents that were off base were told that they could no go see their children. Everyone was left breathless, on the edge of their seat . . .
Meanwhile, ambulances rushed the still breathing victims to local hospitals, including Hasan. He was originally reported as dead, a report which was later corrected by Fort Hood officials. He will be interrogated as soon as he is able to speak. A common theory concerning what drove him to these acts involves the fact that he was harassed for his religion and had been trying to discharge from the Army for several months. Another is that he was scheduled to be deployed on November 28th. Whatever his reason, it doesn't matter. What does matter to the families of those dead men and women is that there are thirteen people who will never speak, never smile, never kiss again. What matters is that thirteen people are dead because of an act of absolutely senseless violence.
"It is difficult enough when we lose these brave men and women abroad, but it is horrifying that they should come under fire at an army base on U.S. soil." President Barack Obama said at a press conference.
He's right. Fort Hood holds the sad distinction of being the base that has seen the most fatalities in the past years we've been at war, losing just under 500 soldiers.
Hasan was never reported as showing any anti-American tendencies. He was a devout Muslim and was described by religious leaders as "a quiet guy with a nice personality."
Is it coincidental that Hasan's job involved counseling soldiers that were returning from war, helping them to avoid the sort of breakdown that he himself eventually suffered from?
It's interesting, but in the scheme of things, it's unimportant.
What is important is that we will mourn this loss as we mourn all losses. We will come together as a nation. We will cry for the thirteen lost men and women and we will pray for the quick and total recovery of the thirty-one others injured. And then we will recover. We will move on, as we always do.
But we won't forget.
No, we will never forget those wounded and those killed in this act of senseless violence.
This has been Clarisse, with her eye on the news. *tear*
Labels: death, tragic