Misplaced Attention

I think owe you an apology.

Monday, a half-awake Andrew Stockey wrote a very stream-of-consciousness  view of the shootings Saturday in Stanton Heights. I shared with you how the day unfolded from MY point of view, MY feelings of  what I saw and how it affected ME. I spoke of a life and career changing moment — for ME.

However, some close to me pointed out my mistake in that hastily-written blog. They told me I was selfish … and had missed the point … and they were right.

Saturday’s events are not about me. They were about three men who were doing their job when they were killed. The events were about the family, friends and communities in which they lived as they grieved for their fallen friend. Saturday was about the men in blue who serve and protect us who lost one of their own. Finally, it was about a city which had never suffered such loss on such a massive scale.

I  guess I began to refelct on my personal feelings when I received Facebook comments from friends which said “stay safe” and “pray for you”. While they were welcomed, I certainly was not in the line of fire. I was a reporter describing events from afar with little information. I was safe and never in harm’s way.

I cannot imagine the pain of what these men’s families must be experiencing or the horror of the officers trying to rescue their downed comrades.

I think there was a quote from Robert Duvall, playing Michael Keaton’s editor in “The Paper”. He said, quite simply, as journalists “we move in their world but it is their world”. That has both good and bad connotations. That means you may have access to Ben Roethlisberger but you don’t live the lifestyle he does. It also means that you are not in the line of fire when a man with an AK-47 starts firing on SWAT teams.

I did on Saturday and I do it again now: my heart goes out to the officers and their families. I wish them peace as they try to deal with the most difficult moment of their lives.

I am changed by this experience, but that matters little. I got to leave when the coverage was over and go home to the safety of my house and my bed. My thoughts and feelings might have been changed, but not my life.

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