That was one of the headlines in today’s Philadelphia Inquirer, with the sub-heading “One person died. Others were hurt in shootings and a stabbing.”
I must admit that at first I just skipped over reading the story, and kept paging through the paper, stopping to read only those stories that captured my interest.
But then for some reason the sub-heading of that story kept coming back to me, “One person died.”
Had I become so immune to such headlines that it didn’t bother me that another person’s life was needlessly taken?
So I went back and read the story; here is the first part of the story describing the killing:
At 6:05 p.m. Friday, 16th District officers were called to the 700 block of North Dekalb Street in Mantua, where they found a 61-year-old man with a gunshot wound to his chest. He was taken to Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, where he died about 90 minutes later, police said. No one had been arrested in the incident, and police would not release the man’s name.
After reading the story, it was on my mind the rest of the day. Perhaps it was the fact that my aunt and I had spent several hours in the E.R. at Penn Presbyterian just a couple of weeks ago with my mom. So I guess felt some sense of connection.
But the story raised more questions than answers.
What was the victim’s name? Did he have a family? Was he somebody’s brother or uncle or father or grandfather or cousin? Are his parents’ still alive? Did he have close friends? Were any of these people with him at the E.R.?
Will he be missed? Will anyone be sad about his death?
Why was he killed?
While I may never know the answer to many of these questions, I do know the answer to at least one of them.
I’m sad that we live we live in a time and place where we skim over a story like this, and don’t think of the victim as a person, and how many people will be affected by his death.
Rest in peace fellow member of the human race.