Daily Hampshire Gazette - Established 1786
Cloudy
74°
Cloudy
Hi 72° | Lo 41°

Ed Weisman: Naming Hadley calf for boy killed in bombing is ill-considered

To the editor:

I was deeply disturbed by the story and photo about the calf named in honor of bombing victim Martin Richard. Martin was killed just a week ago, his mother suffered a brain injury, his sister lost a leg.

While farmer Bruce Jenks’ heart is clearly in the right place, the Gazette’s decision to publish such a large photo of a smiling farmer with his delightful newborn calf reflects the larger problem we as a society make tragedy after tragedy.

Those with no immediate connection to the murdered rush for comfort through makeshift memorials and candlelight vigils. There’s nothing wrong with that, but I wonder if the victims would be better served if we instead sat with our individual discomfort for a while before naming livestock after a murdered little boy who at the time was not yet buried.

Ed Weisman

Florence

Comments
Legacy Comments3

Agreed, Ed. Especially with this: "There’s nothing wrong with that, but I wonder if the victims would be better served if we instead sat with our individual discomfort for a while before naming livestock after a murdered little boy who at the time was not yet buried." Thanks for being brave enough to challenge us to sit with what is.

I also disagree that this move was ill considered. We all grapple with tragedy and look for ways to find healing. The farmer recognized that this was a small local gesture, meant to help with the healing of some hearts here and to honor the loss of an innocent, and thus he didn't look to notify the family or anything inappropriate like that. He named one loved, still small and innocent soul after a boy who was tragically lost. No one comes away feeling totally comforted by this act, it's just a way of showing some love in the world. Let's leave a little room for compassion and small acts and not find one more way to harshly criticize each other in this world, shall we?

I, sir, sincerely disagree. A 4-H youth group named the calf (not the farmer) and I thought it was an endearing gesture in response to a horrendous event. If the farmer had reached out to the Richard family this past week, then I would agree that action alone would not be appropriate. But that was not the case. Each one of us mourns (yes, I have been in mourning this past week even though I do not believe that anyone I know was injured) in different ways. I participated in the silent moment at 2:50 on Monday, then tolled my church bells afterward. These youth and farmer named a calf to honor a young child that was killed. That was a very compassionate response in my mind.

Post a Comment

You must be registered to comment on stories. Click here to register.