Just when we're finally feeling the anger and sadness subside over the events of the recent Paris attacks, and amid other horrible stories of similarly dastardly and heinous gun violence in our country, another senseless tragedy erupted on Wednesday, only this time it was very close to home. The shooting that took place at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernadino left 14 people dead, and once again, the perpetrators of this horribleness left the community with heavy and frightened hearts in it's wake.
There are no easy ways to deal with the messy physical and psychological carnage; it's almost so deeply penetrated into our brains now that it'd be easy to capitulate to the bad people in this world, that want to disrupt, destroy. On Wednesday, I myself couldn't escape the many heavy sighs escaping my mouth, and the feeling that this will never stop, and there is no hope.
But there is hope, and it comes in the form of seeing people of all ages and backgrounds coming together as a community and grieving together in solidarity. On Thursday evening, the Angels' Class A affiliate, the Inland Empire 66ers, opened the doors to San Manuel to let people pay tribute to both the lives lost and the lives left behind that will never be the same.
"Our community has been put in unfamiliar territory because of this terrible tragedy," Inland Empire 66ers General Manager Joe Hudson said. "We know that our ballpark is a community gathering place and that is what we need now. We need somewhere that all of us can come together and grieve for the senseless loss of life and assault on our home."
Like the lighting of the Halo in remembrance for the horrors of the Paris attacks, this simple yet beautifully human move makes me proud to be a fan of these teams, from the Angels all the way down the MiLB affiliate line. This is how people heal, and how they realize they're not alone.
Thanks go out to the 66ers organization, for opening up the gates and reminding people that there is still good in the world, and neighborly love and respect is still a thing in the 21st century. #SBStrong