The past week has been filled with tragedy and mourning, not only for Anson County as we mourn the loss of five people killed in car accidents, but for the entire country as well, after the massacre at a Colorado movie theater Friday.
Locally, we lost four in a head-on collision July 15, including three young girls, and just two days later, an 18-year-old was killed when he was thrown from an overturning vehicle. While still mourning those losses, we hear of the shooting deaths of 12 people Friday at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., during a midnight screening of “The Dark Knight Rises.” It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the tragedy, even if you didn’t personally know any of those lost.
One thing that has stood out about the victims of these tragedies is this: Surviving family members and friends seem to remember them all as some of the happiest people they knew. A teacher described 10-year-old Taleya Wall, one of the July 15 accident victims, as “always smiling.” A friend of Alexander “A.J.” Boik, 18, one of the victims of the Colorado shooting, said, “If he were still here, he’d try to make everyone have a positive outlook of the situation and not allow it to affect their outlook of life.” Six-year-old Veronica Moser-Sullivan, also killed in the Colorado massacre, has been called a “great little girl, excited about life,” by her surviving great-aunt. A co-worker of Rebecca Wingo, 32, another Colorado victim, said she was always in a good mood.
While it’s undeniably sad that these people are no longer with us, perhaps we could all learn a lesson by the way they lived their lives in the short time they were here. Not only were they all positive thinkers that were usually smiling, some of them were heroes, as well. At least three men killed in the shooting died protecting their loved ones.
So, while some may worry about people copycatting the killer, why don’t more of us copycat the victims of these tragedies, and live our lives with positivity and a smile? The world would be a much brighter place.