So I'm a little riled up about something and not sure what to do with it. I want to be sensitive to people around me but...
There is a young lady from our little town who was killed yesterday. She's actually living in Lexington now and it seems that, in the process of her job, got hit by a train. It's tragic. I don't know her, but from all indications, she seems to be a decent girl. Definitely well liked. You can't turn around in this county the past couple of days without hearing people talk about the tragedy. Probably the one thing that makes her so prominent and well-known is that fact that she was the high school marching band's field commander 3-4 years ago. Now this is not your stereotypical, made-for-tv movie marching band. The band here is populated by well known, popular, "cool" kids. And...oh yeah...our marching band is pretty much know as the best marching band in the state. Has been consistently for over two decades. They've won the state championship every year in the past 20 years, with the exception of 3-4 years (non-consecutive). And there's also that national championship. So it's kind of a big deal.
So here's what bugs me. I don't mind that people are talking about it. It's a small town and that's how small town tragedies go, particularly involving young folks. And I don't mind that she's the subject of local news and plastered all over the newspaper and local community web-site. Not a problem. But today, our Judge Executive ordered that all flags in the county be flown at half mast. That, I have a big problem with. For 2 reason:
1. Since when did being a field commander and getting hit by a train (probably Hilary's fault) make one a hero?
2. And this is what really bothers me. A couple of years ago my cousin's daughter, then 17 years old, was killed in a car wreck. She wasn't doing anything wrong. She was in the choir and they just had their big performance at the high school. After the concert, a lot of the kids gathered at one of the kid's home to hang out. Nothing bad going on. At about 10:30 pm, Haley left to go home. She dropped a friend off at her home, which put Haley on a road she wasn't familiar with. Teenage driver...possible going too fast...darkness...you get the picture. It was the talk of the county for a while and she was in the papers. But there was no talk of flying flags half mast or any other official proclamations for Haley. And that's what bothers me. The inconsistency.
It's like women with breast cancer. This community has a history of doing a bang-up job of supporting any resident with severe medical issues. It seems like every day there is another fund raiser for someone else suffering from something else. I love that. It's taking care of our own, what we're supposed to do. But last month, one lady got some extra special treatment. The situation was no different. Fundraisers and well-wishes for a lady fighting cancer. Except for that fact that this lady has lived in Louisville for a while. And except for the fact that, on her birthday, the whole county wore specially made pink shirts in her honor. Many businesses around were involved. The official community news website was inundated with pictures of employees of different businesses posing in their pink t-shirts, wishing Sarah well. Even the marching band (of which she was an alumni) posted a video to youtube of them doing their famous chant/salute, all in pink t-shirts, with a special tag on the end for Sarah.
So I'm a little put out. Not that Sarah has such support, or that Hilary is being honored and remembered in such touching ways. But by the fact that Haley and so many others don't get the same treatment, for no real reason beyond the fact that their families may not be so prominent. Or because they were only a member of the choir and not field commander. I really feel like I want to say something to the community. But I can't do it now because I don't want to disrespect or take away from Hilary at all. But at some point, something needs to be said.
Do I have a point, or am I just hyper-sensitive to this for some reason?