Sunday, April 3, 2016

Commemoration #7

Although the Blogging from A to Z Challenge is on hold for today (Sundays are an off day), April 3 will forever be a "C" day here - C for Commemoration.

On April 3, 2009, a gunman burst into an adult education classroom at the American Civic Association, blocks from where I work in downtown Binghamton, New York.  Within minutes, 14 people (including the gunman) were dead.

My first blog post, April 10, 2009, was taken from an email I sent to some friends after receiving phone calls and emails asking if I was all right.  It wasn't quite an eye witness report, but you can, if you want, call it the impressions of someone on the fringe of a tragic event.

Today, a monument on the edge of downtown Binghamton, New York commemorates the lives of those lost.  Some of these pictures were taken by me, and some by the friend I call my "guest photographer".

Through the months and years, I've blogged about the aftermath of the shooting a number of times.  I didn't know any of the dead personally, although a friend knows a woman who would have worked there that day except she had taken the day off. (Bobbie King, below, subbed for her.) In some way, it  changed the lives of everyone living or working in Binghamton  Additionally, for me, it was the triggering event for starting my blog.
Roberta King, a mother and grandmother, was the teacher - a substitute teacher, at that.  She took the class from the normal teacher, who had taken the day off to celebrate her 40th wedding anniversary.

Those who died that day (I refuse to call them "victims") came from all over the world.  Here are some of the monuments to the dead.

Marc Bernard and his wife came from Haiti to seek a better life here in Binghamton.
They left two orphaned children and I wonder what they are doing now, as they grow into adulthood.
Dolores Yigal came from the Philippines.
And Maria Zobniw came here as young child from the Ukraine. 
Each of the dead has a soaring bird as a symbol
Although I don't show the monuments of all the dead, they are all cherished and remembered today by our community and their families.
Where it happened
The years pass...but the shootings in our country continue, day after day, month after month, year after year.  How many more times will we mourn dead, all over the world, due to violence of humans against their own kind?

How many more monuments to the dead will we have to build?

Tomorrow is C day on the Blogging from A to Z Challenge.  Please join me again as I blog about "Days of our Lives".


  1. The things that humans will do to other humans are very shocking. I feel so sad about this. When people die, they leave a hole behind in the fabric of those who love them. When they die suddenly and violently, as they did in Binghamton in 2009, it is a hole that is abruptly ripped open and has the potential to tear more and more and create more pain. I hope that the survivors have gotten support and help during the grief process that they never expected to have to experience at that time.

    1. So do I. I especially think of the two children orphaned, but all of the deaths were tragic. Thank you for stopping by, Alice.

  2. We have far too many of these memorials. So sad.

  3. How very sad. And how good of you to keep the memory alive.

  4. Alana, that was quite an experience. It's a shame the state our world has gotten to. Liberalism teaches there are no consequences for what we do. If you're unhappy, then make everyone else unhappy with you. These sorts of things will only get worse before they get better, if our world continues on the same road. God's blessings to those who lost people on this day. Thank you for sharing your story and it's so nice to meet you!
    ~Curious as a Cathy

  5. Hi there!

    I’m stopping by from the #AtoZChallenge. So sad to hear stories like these. I many more tragedies like this one will it take before people come to their senses?

    I have two blogs in this challenge…my author blog at THE STORY CATCHER ( and my KICKS Kids Club blog ( . If you get a chance, check them out and good luck with the challenge!

    Donna L Martin

  6. Thanks for sharing. I haven never heard of any of these people.
    Coffee is on

  7. We always ask but refuse to take the action to stop the shootings.
    Repeal the 2nd Amendment and allow the gun makers to be sued.

  8. We will continue to mourn the slaughters unless and until those of us who resent having to do so finally take action to eradicate the sway that the NRA has on our government.

  9. If there's anything positive in this, it's that it seems your community is a deeply caring, supportive one. I hope that the survivors have felt that, in the passage of time, as much as it shows here on the page. I hope that one day, we can figure out how to prevent violent tragedies like this. It's not as if life doesn't throw us enough challenges - imagine if we could all work together to solve the ones that all humans face.


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