Today, I was going to write a post on the fifth anniversary of a tragic day for our community in upstate New York. Something happened at the American Civic Association (ACA) in Binghamton, New York, mere blocks from where I work.
On April 3, 2009, a Vietnamese man walked into the ACA, an organization that helps immigrants settle into American life. Several minutes later, 14 people (including the man, a former client of the ACA) were dead, shot to death.
I was going to blog about some of the people who died that day, and show you a monument that is being dedicated to honor their memory. But instead, we in the United States mourn the victims of still another mass shooting, this time at Fort Hood, the largest active duty base in the United States.
Yesterday, a troubled Iraqi War vet stationed at Fort Hood killed 4 (including himself) and injured 16, as of this writing. He had known mental health issues.
Fort Hood, in some ways, is a city, with about 65,000 active duty soldiers, support staff, and the families of the service members. It is located about 60 miles from Austin, the state capitol of Texas.
Sadly, this isn't the first time there's been a mass shooting there in recent times. It's the second.
The first shooting was November 5, 2009, just a little over seven months after our shooting in Binghamton, New York. The November shooting left 13 people dead, and is classed as an act of terrorism. The shooter survived, is partially paralyzed, and faces the death penalty for his actions.
Someone called yesterday's shooting "just another day in South Texas".
Once again, we in the United States wonder why, and people from overseas shake their heads. As for us in the Binghamton area, we quietly mourn the victims of our shooting. And now, those who died yesterday at Fort Hood.
More sadness in our country today. We already know the questions to ask. When will we know the answers?