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Opinion

In Memory of Those We Have Lost Far Too Soon

December 16, 2018
Ben Harmon

Woodbury, New York, United States

California has been devastated by recent tragedies: a shooting at a restaurant in Thousand Oaks, California, and one of the deadliest wildfires ever.  To those directly affected, I, along with the rest of my brother Alephs and sister B'nai B'rith Girls around the world, send our love, thoughts, and prayers. Stay strong California.

Below are reactions to the shooting and fire. Thousand Oaks is a prominent area of the Pacific Western Region.

“The shooting in Los Angeles is horrid. The first thing I thought was, again? Too many tragic events have occurred these past few weeks. From the shooting at a synagogue in Pittsburgh, to anti-semitic vandalism discovered at another synagogue in Brooklyn, and finally a shooting at a restaurant close to where I live. The world we live in is mad, disgusting, and full of hate. We, as the future generation, need to support, love, and help one another. Only a few minutes from home, none of us were expecting this terrible thing to happen. On Thursday night, a gunman opened fire at a restaurant in Thousand Oaks, California, just 25 minutes from where I live. After all these tragic events occurring, I have learned to be aware of what is going on in the world. I am extremely grateful my friends and family are safe. We have been trained to be prepared that something could happen to us at any moment, and this could have been at my school, my temple, or volleyball practice. The big questions I, as well as my friends, ask is, “Why? Why does this hate happen? Why are people so crazy?” The answer is unknown. So what can we do? Be there for each other and spread the word. It needs to end. Stop the hate.” —Julia Sisko, D’vash BBG #956, Pacific Western Region #44
“Things have been pretty surreal here. No one knows whether they are safe from being evacuated because [the California wildfire] spread so quickly.  Everyone is confused and tired and we really don’t know what’s next.” —Jaxon Green, Ema Shelcha AZA #2495, Pacific Western Region #44
“The fire is tragic and is affecting everyone; the people near the fire are displaced and the people in other parts of California can’t go outside. Their schools shut down due to the awful air quality and I haven’t been able to open a window in a week and a half.” —Edo Biluar, Ramon AZA #195, Central Region West #45

As we continue on with our days, let us keep in mind the devastation occurring in California, and be thankful for what we have. Many have lost their belongings, homes, pets, and family members. It is our job to support our brother Alephs and sister BBGs when they need our love and support just a little bit more.

Ben Harmon is an Aleph from Nassau Suffolk Region and plays Varsity baseball at his high school.

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