Letter: Lessons learned from the tragedy in Tucson
Lessons learned from the tragedy in Tucson
Out of the ashes of the Tucson tragedy has arisen a view of the positive nature of people. We saw ordinary folks rise to the occasion to help their fellow human beings, often disregarding their own safety. In this horrific incident, there was Dan Hernandez helping to quell the blood from the gunshot wound of Congresswoman Giffords as bullets flew around him, Dorwan Stoddard shielding his wife’s body as he took a bullet that killed him but saved her, or Patricia Maisch knocking the gun clip out of Loughner’s gun. Remarkable! Often, it seems, this scene plays itself out when people are confronted by evil.
It is unfortunate that we often hear about the greatness of people through these tragedies, but look within our own communities of the numerous volunteers who each day freely do something for the betterment of their human beings (e.g., all those volunteer fire and rescue squad people). Churchill said it best: "Courage is the first of human qualities because it is the quality that guarantees all the others" and "We make a living not by what we get, but we make a life by what we give." Indeed, "extraordinary things are done by ordinary people!"
On the other hand, after the events at Tucson, we heard rancor and cynicism among people of different philosophies. However, I believe this rhetoric does not reflect the feeling of the majority. I am convinced that most Americans want the best for their families, and their country, and have a general caring of their fellow human beings regardless of color, religion, nationality or political view.
Thinking about what I saw and heard that happened in Tucson encourages me to believe that there is more goodness than bad in our society. I would like to think that the "phoenix" that rose out of the ashes of the Tucson tragedy is the American hero—my next-door neighbor or the stranger next to me in the checkout counter. I only hope that if someday I encounter a situation like the Tucson tragedy, I can be as brave as they were.
Bob "JJ" Orth