Helpless to understand this tragedy

Published 11:32 pm Friday, November 6, 2009

Thursday marked a horrific day in our country’s history as an American soldier shot and killed 12 fellow soldiers and personnel and wounded an additional 30 at Fort Hood, Texas.

The men and women killed Thursday knew their service in our country’s armed forces would put them at risk in combat zones around the world, but never should they feel threatened within the sanctuary of their own bases.

The reasons behind Thursday’s massacre may never truly be known, but the pain and anguish felt by the families of the fallen and injured are just as real, regardless of the reason.

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It seems just minutes after the shooting had ended, with the alleged shooter himself lying shot, pundits and critics alike already had begun speculating on what had happened and why it had happened.

Add to that the fact the alleged shooter was someone of the Muslim faith and the speculation by many spiraled out of control.

“Why did he do this?”

“Did anyone know this would happen?”

“Were there warning signs that someone missed?”

As with many tragedies, the human effort to understand what happened is often hindered by the simple fact that some things cannot be defined, cannot be understood.

In many cases we waste far too much time trying to rationalize an irrational. How can you apply logical thought to such an illogical act?

But, what we can do and what we can understand is that the 12 men and women who were killed were killed ruthlessly and with malice. Their lives ended far too early, and they will forever be missed.

As we try to comprehend what happened, we must come to grips that we are helpless in what has happened and understand what we can do.

We can mourn those killed, and we can pray for the quick recovery of those injured. In the end, that is all we can do.