Letter From The Train 08 26 15 Keeping vigil for the fallen…

Waking up shortly after 6:30, I was having my first cup of coffee at about 6:45 this morning, reading the New York Times, looking out the window at the pristine morning at the cottage. At the same time I was peacefully sipping my coffee, a man who called himself Bryce Williams, shot and killed a young reporter, Alison Parker, 24, and her cameraman, Adam Ward, 27. Bryce Williams was the name used by Vester Flanagan when he worked as an on-air reporter for WBDJ7, the same station Parker and Ward were working for at the time of their deaths.

Flanagan/Williams sent a 23 page fax “manifesto” to ABC News. He described himself as a “powder keg.” An African-American, he felt outraged by what he saw as discrimination at work and over the deaths of the nine people earlier this year at a church in Charleston.

The shootings occurred during a live interview with Vicki Gardner, Executive Director of the Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce. She was talking about tourism in the region. She, too, was shot and is in stable condition.

This happened on live television, shocking viewers and control room crews.

Pursued by police, Flanagan crashed his car and when officers approached, discovered he had shot himself. He died later.

The train is moving north, the afternoon sun is glittering off the Hudson River, the world in front of me seems so peaceful, pure, simple and untarnished but two young people at the beginning of careers, are dead because a man, apparently unhinged by his anger, could take no more and killed people from his former workplace, knowing it would be live, on television.

Josh Earnest, the White House spokesperson, stated he hoped Congress would pass legislation that would have a “tangible impact on reducing gun violence in this country.”

Today I spent a fair amount of time in the Acela Club, Amtrak’s answer to United Airlines Red Carpet Club, where people hovered about the television monitor listening to the live reports on CNN about the shooting. There was a quality about them of individuals keeping vigil for the fallen.

As I move north, past the river and the luscious green of late summer, I, too, find myself feeling like I am keeping a kind of vigil, attempting to comprehend something that is not comprehensible, to me.

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2 Responses to “Letter From The Train 08 26 15 Keeping vigil for the fallen…”

  1. antheaschronicles Says:

    i watched the news at around 9 am – was so devastating- 2 innocent lives taken away for nothing:(

  2. tombers Says:

    It haunted me all day…and into today…

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