God knows this week is a downer already, but it seems worth mentioning that the Gang Lu massacre was 20 years ago today.
Many of us are probably too young to even remember it. Personally, I was 10 and I didn't fully understand the gravity of the event at the time. It was just sort of background noise, as I remember the weekend for other reasons. My dad was taking me to his National Guard drill weekend at Camp Dodge-something that was probably highly inappropriate, but I don't think he cared, as his 20 years of service was almost up. I know I didn't care, because I was getting some rare father-son time (he worked a lot). The only one that probably cared was my mom-it was unusually snowy for the 1st of November and I don't think she wanted either of us going in that weather. After he finished his Saturday work, we drove around Des Moines looking for a restaurant that was showing the Iowa/Ohio State "black helmet" game, but we mostly just listened to the radio broadcast. Our defense was good that year, but they played out of their minds in that game to get the win (still the last in the 'shoe, if I'm not mistaken).
Video highlights of the game (courtesy YouTube user bradleyjames)
Now that I'm older, obviously I feel more for the victims and their families than I did then, but for me, the memory is still oddly bittersweet. In addition, the grad student part of me can almost see how someone would snap under the pressure of chasing the next big grant/fellowship, and the absurdity of the situation when your very good friends and colleagues can also be your biggest rivals. But I remind myself, life is much more than your occupation. If only someone had been there to remind Gang Lu of that...
I didn't want to make this a preachy/soapbox thing, so I'll just awkwardly end it here before I turn that way. Other thoughts/memories?
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