With my Dad having served for several years in the Army, I’ve seen several war memorials and they always evoke strong feelings in me. ‘Lest We Forget’ says the war memorial in the picture below, asking the citizens of Australia to never forget the services and bravery of their soldiers who fought in the World Wars.
But my post is not exactly about soldiers and wars – although, that’s debatable!
For the last two weeks, I’ve been watching on and off two court trials and there were two testimonies that left a deep impression on me.
Jesse Lewis, a Sandy Hook School shooting victim
This was a case against the television and radio show host, Alex Jones by the parents of parents of a little boy killed in the Sandy Hook School shooting. Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis, are parents of Jesse Lewis, one of the 20 students killed in this horrific disaster, which Jones claimed was all a hoax!
What struck me about this case was the testimony of Scarlett.
My last morning with Jesse began like so many others; I woke him up with a song and kissed him until he giggled. It was a beautiful, sunny morning but so cold that my car was coated with a layer of frost. Jesse’s father, Neil, arrived to take Jesse to school. We finalized plans to meet at Jesse’s elementary school the next afternoon. When I turned to kiss Jesse goodbye, I saw that he’d written a note to me in the frost on the passenger-side window and door—I Love You. He stood there smiling up at me.
Her last memory of her little boy was his pure and simple gesture of love. She can never forget. Scarlett has gone on to create a movement called Choose Love in honour of her brave and loving, Jesse.
Joaquin Oliver, a Parkland School shooting victim
This trail has several students and teachers giving testimony to convict the shooter. Yesterday, I watched the victim impact testimony of Victoria Gonzalez, the girlfriend of 17 year old, Joaquin Oliver. Calling him her ‘soulmate’ and saying he was ‘love personified’, she spoke of the last time she saw Joaquin. The shooting was on Valentine’s Day. Joaquin waited for Victoria to pick him up for school that day. He was clutching a stuffed elephant and yellow chrysanthemums and they had plans for a movie later that night. One of his last acts was to write her a love letter in the creative writing class he was attending. Sadly, she didn’t ever see the letter. But she will never forget the love!
She and others created a memorial called #ProjectGrowLove to remember those they lost, to honour them and to allow love to grow.
The families and friends of Jesse and Joaquin will never forget the love these two boys radiated. And this love has caused them to move forward, despite their deep loss, to create ways to spread love.
Today, I want to rededicate myself to love and kindness and hope that this will be my legacy.
Linking in to #FiveMinuteFriday