Ellie Garcia was nine years old. She loved to spontaneously break out into song and dance.
Jose Flores was ten years old. He had just received an award for making the honor roll, and had a passion for baseball.
Tess Mata was ten years old. For months, she carefully and slowly filled up a jar with coins and dollar bills, hoping to use the savings for a family trip to Disney World.
Jacklyn Cazares was nine years old. She recently celebrated her first communion, and her father described her lovingly as a “little firecracker.”
We cannot sink into despair. No matter how many times we get stonewalled by the Senate, no matter how frustrated we get, we keep trying. We keep searching for common ground, we keep contacting our lawmakers, and we trust that our efforts will prevail.
Lexi Rubio was ten years old. She helped her basketball team win a local championship last March, and was given a good citizen award from school administrators just earlier this week.
All of them were just days away from finishing the school year at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. All were lost forever on Tuesday, when a gunman entered the school and killed 19 children and two teachers.
Truthfully, there’s nothing left to say. Ten years after Sandy Hook, and just a week after mass shootings in Buffalo, NY and Laguna Woods, CA, the recurring nightmare of gun violence has once again fallen upon the United States.
The reaction cycle is tragically routine. People across the country demand action from lawmakers, social media is set ablaze with heartbreak and anger, and ultimately, gridlock in Congress prevails.
It’s painful. It’s deeply immoral. It’s enough to make us go numb.
But we cannot sink into despair. No matter how many times we get stonewalled by the Senate, no matter how frustrated we get, we keep trying. We keep searching for common ground, we keep contacting our lawmakers, and we trust that our efforts will prevail. We owe the victims no less.
Take care of yourselves, Friends, and give yourself room to feel the sorrow that these repeated tragedies bring. But never waver in your belief that we can create a more just world, free of mass shootings.
It might feel like an impossible task. But no matter how difficult, we hold firm in our conviction and in our values. That is our duty—as peace advocates, as constituents, and as human beings.