I am heartbroken.
Dayton's Oregon District is usually a site of celebration –
not one of mourning. I know many of us are hurting right
now, and uncertain of where we go from here. We have lots of
challenging days ahead.
But Dayton is fearless. I thought about that as I watched
the video of our Dayton Police officers running toward the
gunman who was carrying a weapon bigger and more powerful
than their own. I know it may not feel like it right now,
but I have seen so much fearlessness from our community in
the last 48 hours and in the last several months. We have
confronted some of the toughest challenges any city could
imagine and we stood tall in the face of all of them.
But of everything we’ve faced this year, this one is
especially tough. Not only because we lost members of our
community, but because it was avoidable. I spoke with 61
mayors yesterday, who called recognizing I had been
initiated into the unfortunate fraternity of those who had
endured one of these tragedies in their own communities.
Something must be done. Enough is enough.
But we can’t be hopeless in the face of inaction in DC and
in Columbus. We must continue to support one another here at
home. As we’ve endured these horrible times, this community
has learned about each other and what is most important to
us. People who never would have crossed paths have helped
each other in our most painful moments. Dayton has done what
Dayton does best – we take of each other.
Nine of our neighbors came to celebrate in the Oregon
District Saturday night, and now nine families are dealing
with incredible sorrow. And dozens more families are trying
to wrap their heads around the violence that changed the
lives of their loved ones forever.
The Oregon District is a place full of so much life. That is
why it is especially painful for it to be the site of such
tragic loss. But I have no doubt that tomorrow, and the next
day, and every day after that, it will continue to be a
place for us to come together for celebration. Including
celebrating the lives of those we lost.
Nan Whaley, Mayor City of Dayton