The Wall at the Mall
When the shooting happened at Columbia Mall in January the news went international. Friends and family in the UK were very aware of it through news coverage in the UK, as it happened and for a few days after.
There is a healing and recovery process taking place in Columbia and Howard County, and if you live here you can visit the Mall and see all the amazing messages for yourself, that people have posted at the location where Brianna and Tyler lost their lives. And you can add your own.
Sometimes when I write this blog about things that have happened I have a generic audience in mind and sometimes I have a specific audience in mind.
So, with a specific audience in mind, I want to explain to other folk who have followed this story, but don’t live in Columbia, what it feels like in the Mall.
To be honest, it feels kind of normal in 90% of it. This is good. Life goes on as it must. And then you get to the second floor above the food court and it kind of hits you. And you can’t quite believe it happened. It’s really quite emotional.
I feel part of my blogging job is to share events and how they feel – and this feels sad and confusing still. I’ve heard some people who live in Baltimore comment about the shootings that happen there “all the time” and that statement is a) horrifying because that presents a sense of complacency about gun crime, and, b) is misleading since the shootings are generally gang related or targeted to specific areas (most of the time).
‘Why is Columbia so special?’ someone else asked. ‘Get over it.’ Well, my first response is to say that shootings are distressing wherever they take place. This kind of thing just is very, very unusual for Columbia. Columbia is well thought of as being very safe and I can confirm that I really do feel very, very safe here.
So this event did shock the community and I think it’s only right to allow people to express their grief and confusion and sadness about this happening to two young kids in the Mall on an ordinary Saturday. Because when something as horrific as this happens, it makes the ordinary extraordinary, and that’s not always easy to deal with.
The expressions and sentiments on the Wall at the Mall today really got me.
I spoke to Harry about it and he wanted to write something.
This is the Wall at the Mall.
When I look back on my USA experience, there will be many, many amazing things to remember, but I think living here and this taking place in the community will be something very significant that I will always reflect on.
Cowboys boots packed…
Why? Because I’m only going to flippin’ Texas, that’s why!
San Antonio and Austin, I hear you are a-callin’ me!
And the Daisy Dukes are ready, have no fear!
Bring it on! 😉
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