An Anniversary That I Wish I Could Forget

The names Newtown, Tuscon, and Blacksburg will bring to the minds of most Americans the mass shooting tragedies committed in those cities during the past several years. A lesser-known such event occurred in Palm Bay, Florida twenty-seven years ago today. That evening a man named William Cruse drove to the shopping center less than a mile from our townhouse apartment and opened fire, ultimately killing six people and injuring several others. At the moment of the shootings my wife and I were attending the meeting of a small group at our church in Melbourne. We heard sirens racing down the street adjacent to the church, and soon learned of the horror that had befallen. I did not personally know any of the victims, though I suspect that I had met at least one of the police officers at some point of my time in the city.

I’m not going to use this space to argue for stricter gun regulations, if for no other reason because I know my words will persuade no one. Instead, I ask that each of us pause to remember the victims of these events, and I fear that in the future every day on the calendar will be an occasion for someone to remember the anniversary of such a horrible occasion.

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