Squirrel Hill is in mourning for its slain and cherishing their memories, grieving for their families and for those who held them dear. We are worried for the injured, grateful for our heroes, and caring as best we can for all those who are left bereft, sorrowful, fearful, shaken and disturbed.
We are heartened by the special outpouring of national and international sympathies, after this Saturday morning’s act of hate and terror.
Some youths who attend Taylor Allderdice High School organized and led a vigil for the as-yet unnamed dead on the evening of the horror — which was good, because too many of the neighborhood elders would have been too intimately impacted and involved to organize an appropriate public service that quickly. (Another vigil and more fulsome community responses were in the works at the Sunday hour of this writing, and more will follow.)
After a prayer, some words, a song or two and a moment of silence, a bold young female voice declared from the speakers, “We are still Squirrel Hill.”
This earned the night’s only applause, which was sustained, and built, until it was replaced by hushed, low chanting: “Vote. Vote. Vote. Vote. Vote. Vote. Vote. Vote.”
Because after all, ours is a proudly diverse community, and this was a political terror. Continue reading