Valentine's Day is a holiday celebrating love, but like with many holidays, it's also a day that can trigger grief.
Two years ago, Stoneman Douglas High School, a school from the county I grew up in South Florida experienced a horrible massacre.
I will not forget. And I hope no one else does either. Gun violence and White terrorism in America have not been resolved.
Here’s my post from last year:
A year has passed since the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting. On Valentine’s Day 2018 a high school in South Florida, in the county where I grew up, was the victim of yet another school massacre. This time it involved the deaths of 17 people, one of whom was Chris Hixon, a previous staff member of the high school I graduated. His wife, Mrs. Hixon, was my teacher. His teenage son was in my grade. His youngest son sometimes came to our class and went on our field trips. The Parkland shooting hit me harder than most because there was an entire family I once interacted with attached to heartbreak. I couldn’t stop thinking about how my teacher, Mrs. Hixon was handling the grief of it all. You think your husband, is going about the day as usual and instead he’s gunned down by a monster with access to a gun and a lot of bullets. On Valentine’s Day no less.
In Taiwan, there is a holiday coming up called the 2-28 massacre. On February 28th the government killed thousands of its civilians. Now it’s a holiday to commemorate their deaths. A day of morning for the domestic terrorism that impacted many lives.
In the United States, the CDC reported that over 40 thousand people died last year from gun violence, including mass shootings, school shooting, suicides, and deaths that don’t meet the criteria of a mass shooting. By not acting to change this, the US government is complicit in these domestic acts of terrorism. We don’t have a commemorative holiday yet for these losses. If the government based our "holiday" on each mass shooting that happened in 2018, we’d have almost every day off of the year.
Art by @coilaevans