This despicable event on Sunday night is even more tragic because of how senseless it appears to be. We all know that there are risks that can imperil us or our loved ones. However, this tragedy at the hands of a single person who does not seem to have had any identified motive, as of this writing, is almost impossible to understand.
Yet, there was something heroic about the people who attended the concert. They all were aware of recent incidents where innocents were assaulted by terrorists. They could have decided not to attend the concert out of fear. But they chose to go to a venue where they could be exposed to this type of tragedy. None expected it but all knew it could happen. They went anyway. They refused to be cowered by the threats of evil men and women.
Also very heartwarming were the acts of bravery and sacrifice by off duty law enforcement, military, and first responders both in the crowd and who quickly arrived. Their heroism should never be forgotten, whether in the field across from the Mandalay Bay Resort, or in the fields of Iraq or elsewhere.
I wanted to share with you a letter written by Abraham Lincoln to the mother of five sons who were killed in the Civil War. While the victims of this tragedy were not soldiers in an army, they were people who were bravely defying those who would make us live in fear. In times of sorrow, I have found solace in his words and hope that others will as well.
Washington, Nov. 21, 1864.
I have been shown in the files of the War Department a statement of the Adjutant General of Massachusetts that you are the mother of five sons who have died gloriously on the field of battle.
I feel how weak and fruitless must be any word of mine which should attempt to beguile you from the grief of a loss so overwhelming. But I cannot refrain from tendering you the consolation that may be found in the thanks of the Republic they died to save.
I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom.
Yours, very sincerely and respectfully,
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