Perhaps by now you have seen a portion of the video posted below, but I would encourage you to watch it all.
Claire Esther Davis, a 17-year-old senior at Arapahoe High School in Centennial, Colorado, was shot in the face on December 13. She died eight days later. A fellow student, angry at losing his spot on the school’s debate team, entered the school that day with a shotgun and home-made bombs. Claire, for no reason at all other than chance, quickly became a victim of a deranged mind in control of a deadly weapon.
Yesterday, on New Year’s Day, Claire’s father, with his wife by his side, spoke at a memorial service in Denver. You may not agree with all of his sentiments. You may argue with some of his reasoning. But you can’t help but admire his absolute devotion to what it means, what it must mean, to live in a civilized world.
“Unchecked anger and rage can lead to hatred, and unchecked hatred can lead to tragedy, blindness and a loss of humanity,” he said at one point. He added a bit later:
To citizens of our community, the state of Colorado, our nation, and the world, we must strive for kindness, compassion, peace, and love to maintain our humanity.
I will here confess that Claire’s father, Michael Davis, and her mother, Desiree, are far better human beings than I will ever hope to be. I have three kids. If any one of them became a murderer’s victim, I’m afraid I would not be able to say the words that Michael Davis says so eloquently. I’m afraid that the last thing on my mind would be kindness, compassion, peace and love. I’m afraid that I wouldn’t talk about maintaining “our humanity.”
Yet somehow this amazing man was able to say those words, and as you will soon be able to see, he meant every single one of them. And as a tribute, not only to Claire Davis and her remarkable parents, but to the idea of maintaining humanity itself, you should take the time to listen to him: