In my case, I was heading to the South Side to watch the City Championship football game between Allderdice and Westinghouse. As I got off the bus, I noticed that the area around the stadium was quiet. No crowds, no teams, no bands or cheerleaders. I knew I was in the right place, at the right time. Had no idea what had happened in Squirrel Hill. It was only after I got back home that I found out about the shootings.
I was chilled to my core.
I spend a lot of time in Squirrel Hill. I went to high school there. My American Legion post of 29 years is there. I've bought God knows how many books at the Carnegie Library book sale there. Only a few blocks away from those places, some evil diaperstain of a monster was ending the lives of righteous human beings who only wanted to worship their God in spirit and in truth.
It struck me. Reminded me of the shootings at Mother Immanuel in Charleston. The same bipeds with opposable thumbs capable of reasoned thinking are so capable of both unspeakable greatness and equally unspeakable evil.
I continue to pray for the souls of the victims and their surviving families. I pray that their loss was not in vain. I pray that we as Pittsburghers never forget their sacrifice. As a Christian (who admittedly sucks at it) I pray for my Jewish cousins, friends and acquaintances that their struggles with anti-Semitism, discrimination and bigotry, much of which comes from those who claim to take their wisdom from the Jewish carpenter read about in the back part of the Bible, will eventually come to an end.
I pray for peace. The peace that passes all understanding. Let us never forget. Let us overcome our differences and embrace what we have in common rather than what sets us apart. May the souls of those who died rest in peace and may light perpetual shine upon them.