This week two Newton County young people lost their lives and another took a life, leaving a cloud of sadness over an otherwise sunny time.
These tragedies come on the heels of the mass shooting in Orlando, a murder of a juvenile in Newton County less than two months ago and many other events that seem all too heartbreaking and all too recent.
When we heard the news of the all-too-soon deaths of a recent Eastside High School graduate Logan Davis and 22-year-old Dillon Bragg, it was sad enough. The news that Ramirez Trejo, manager at El Charro, was murdered on Father’s Day was almost too much to take.
It leads us to that familiar question — one we’ve been asking ourselves over and over.
Each time something like this happens, it seems we don’t know what to do and how to act. Through every one of these senseless and tragic losses of life, we are still left with a sense of shock.
We hope, first and foremost, that these senseless, sad events stop. But if they continue, as they will most inevitably do, we hope that we never stop being shocked. If we become numb to the sadness, then how will we know when to act to stop it?
And that is the question we need to ask, along with why — when?
When is enough, enough?
At what point do we make that decision to put an end to the tragedy.
Some sadness we cannot control. If a disease claims the life of a loved one, no matter what the age, we can cherish the memories we have. But we may have little impact towards eradicating the world of that disease, unless we are involved in medical research or can participate in awareness efforts.
But when someone has their life taken in an act of violence, that is something we can act on directly.
If you know someone that is headed down the wrong path, take the first step and be there. Take every opportunity to talk about choices with the youth you come in contact with. Let them learn from your experience and even your mistakes. This can lead to a trust and understanding that may help someone when making decisions that could irreparably change numerous lives.
While we think first of the victim of a tragedy such as a murder, there is also the family and friends of the suspect. They experience the other side of the horror that they will forever be linked to and the loss of the soul of the person who, in one act, became a suspected criminal.
We all need to do everything we can to save all the lives we can.
The other thing we can do — and this community does it so well — is unite.
We all carry heavy hearts at times like these. Let’s come together to lift them.
Friends and family of Trejo and Bragg have put Gofundme.com webpages up in order to help provide for the two men’s funeral arrangements. This works for more than just a way to raise money. It also helps show family and friends that people care enough to reach out and help in a time of need.
Public memorials, candlelight vigils, and outreach efforts also help show support.
These times of sadness are what makes or breaks a community.
When tragedy strikes, and sadness seems never ending, do we come together as a community and help our neighbors? Or do we say to ourselves ‘that has nothing to do with me’ or ‘I didn’t know them?’
We hope that Newton County is a place that works to provide hundreds, or thousands, of helping hands to help lift the heaviest of hearts.