I am no longer blogging here at Little Nuances, but I would love for you to join me on my author website www.leewarren.info.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Remembering Von Maur Shooting Victims

Today is the one year anniversary of the shooting at the Von Maur store in my hometown of Omaha, Nebraska that claimed the lives of eight people: Gary Scharf, Maggie Webb, Beverly Flynn, Gary Joy, Janet Jorgensen, Dianne Clavin Trent, John McDonald, and Angie Schuster. What a horrible day that was. But I was so impressed by the way the city pulled together to support the victims’ families.

I visited the store about ten days after the shooting. It was still closed at the time, but I just wanted to pay my own respects to the deceased and I wanted to see the memorial that people were building outside the the store.

People wrote their heartfelt sentiments on cards, letters, poster boards, and snowflakes cut out of paper and they hung them all over the doors of the store—both outside and inside the mall. When the doors were full, they started plastering them on the walls. And when the walls were full, they started laying them on the ground. In some places, it literally looked like a blizzard since the ground was layers deep in notes of various shapes and sizes.

Thankfully I recorded my thoughts in a post here on this blog. Here’s a little of what I said:
People wore serious expressions on their faces and in the seriousness I sensed a spirit of determination. In fact, just being in the mall was an act of defiance against the gunman and his actions. Visiting the place where fellow citizens fell became sacred ground that people seemed willing to protect. One sign read, “Reopen, Rebuild, Restore.” Another said, “Evil shall not win.”
That same post contains pictures I took of the memorial. Here’s a link if you’d like to see them. The Omaha World Herald is running a series of stories right now. Here's a link to the page on the World Herald's website that contains a photo and a brief bio about each victim. And their website contains many more photos of that day and the memorial. You can see them by clicking here, and then clicking on the photo gallery.

Today at 1:30 PM, Von Maur will stop business in Omaha as the employees, our mayor, and lieutenant governor will gather on the steps for a moment of silence. It sounds like the World Herald is planning to carry the live video of the ceremony. Here’s a link to the front page of their website. It sounds like the video will be available there.


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