Virginia Beach Will Not Be Defined By Its Mass Shooting
Start writing a post
News

Virginia Beach Will Not Be Defined By Its Mass Shooting

We are Virginia Beach strong.

149
Virginia Beach Will Not Be Defined By Its Mass Shooting

As someone from the Virginia Beach area, I'm sure I can speak for everyone when I say that we are all shaken up about what happened this past Friday at the Virginia Beach Municipal Center. I can guarantee that all of us remember exactly where we were at the moment the incident happened.

For me, I was at work, serving tables, about 20 minutes down a straight-shot road that leads to the Municipal Center. It was a typical Friday night at a seafood restaurant located on the water: busy and loud. I was completely unaware of the shooting until the headlines were plastered on the TV screens that sit on the walls in the middle of the restaurant.

If you're unaware of what happened, here is a brief summary: On Friday afternoon, the deadliest mass shooting this year, as well as the deadliest mass killing ever to occur in Virginia Beach history, took place in the Virginia Beach Municipal Center. The identified shooter, DeWayne Craddock, resigned from his position earlier in the day on Friday before going on a killing spree throughout the building he worked. 12 were killedRichard H. Nettleton, Herbert "Bert" Snelling, Laquita C. Brown, Mary Louise Gayle, Alexander Mikhail Gusev, Tara Welch Gallagher, Christopher Kelly Rapp, Joshua O. Hardy, Ryan Keith Cox, Michelle "Missy" Langer, Robert "Bobby" Williams — and many others were injured.

Craddock also was killed in a long shoot-out between him and the police. Motives are still unknown by officials and the event has been covered by local and national news sources.

Before continuing with my article, I wish to express my deepest condolences to the families, friends, and coworkers of DeWayne Craddock and his victims. Nothing prepares you for this unexpected and traumatic loss and the city of Virginia Beach, as well as it's surrounding cities in the Hampton Roads community, are all here for you to lean on. May you all find peace and heal from the wounds that are now etched into you. You are strong and you will get through this.

With that being said, the city of Virginia Beach is in chaos, yet finding a way to come together and heal. Nothing in this world will take away the loss of loved ones who were killed and the pain of those who witnessed the shooting first-hand and survived, but I will admit that I am so proud of the community for coming together and being there for one another. Between vigils/services, memorials, donations and many community events, the city of Virginia Beach has not stopped thinking about, remembering and honoring those who were killed and affected. The daily news has focused mostly on the shooting and any knowledge that is uncovered and it has also continued to update the community on services and events. A memorial commercial also comes on every commercial break with photographs of the twelve lives lost, emphasizing that "we remember."

Raw interviews continue being conducted with survivors. Although I feel that these people deserve their privacy and the news should provide them with space and respect, these interviews paint the pictures of what it was like for those people. They describe what they saw, what they heard, what their last words to their friends who were killed were. Although I will not hyperlink these interviews, as the thought of televising somebody who is probably in shock breaking down about the traumatizing event that they just experienced seems to be a little insensitive to me, I wanted to mention them because it emphasizes just how real what happened was. Nobody should have to experience that. Nobody should have to step over the body of their friend. Nobody should have to be a hero and get killed risking their lives to save everyone else's. Nobody should have to hide in their office, dodging bullets from an active shooter.

It's sickening that we live in a world where things like this keep happening closer and closer to home. I encourage those who have never experienced something like this close to them to count their blessings. Any day this could change and it only takes a split-second for a person to snap. It seems like more and more mass shootings are happening, as the Virginia Beach shooting marks the 151st mass shooting to happen this year alone. That number is terrifyingly unsettling.

I also want to encourage anyone who reads this to constantly be aware of your surroundings. Something that has allowed me to feel safer in such a dangerous world is the amount of effort I have put into storing a mental keepsake of what-to-dos in these life-threatening situations. When in a new place, scope out where you are and get comfortable with it. Know where you could go in case of an emergency. For places that you're at often, like work, school, the grocery store, even home, recognize a hiding spot that could potentially save your life.

Of course, nobody wants to live their life in fear and preparation of tragedy. In fact, nobody should. However, going the extra mile and establishing a back-up plan for yourself once in a while will not only allow you to feel a little more prepared for the unexpected, but it could even save your life. And my last rule: trust nobody. Like I said earlier, you never know when somebody is going to snap or hit a switch.

It's important to know that despite the tragedy that took place, Virginia Beach is not defined by it. If anything, it should define Virginia Beach as a unified community that comes together in times of need and crisis. It should define Virginia Beach as unbreakable, as an event that would tear people apart have brought people together. It should define Virginia Beach as strong.

This tragedy does not take away the city's beauty and sense of life. Through bad times, the community rallies together and pulls each other up out of the dirt. We should be known for Pharrell's Something in The Water, our boardwalk, our Navy SEAL team, our seafood, and our strength. Please do not define us by a tragedy that could happen anywhere. We are an entire community that has been affected. We are mourning. We are remembering those we lost. We are the helping hands that are reaching out to survivors and families of those lost. We are good. We are strong.

We are Virginia Beach Strong.

#VBStrong

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Robert Bye on Unsplash

I live by New York City and I am so excited for all of the summer adventures.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

The invention of photography

The history of photography is the recount of inventions, scientific discoveries and technical improvements that allowed human beings to capture an image on a photosensitive surface for the first time, using light and certain chemical elements that react with it.

96278

The history of photography is the recount of inventions, scientific discoveries and technical improvements that allowed human beings to capture an image on a photosensitive surface for the first time, using light and certain chemical elements that react with it.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Exposing Kids To Nature Is The Best Way To Get Their Creative Juices Flowing

Constantly introducing young children to the magical works of nature will further increase the willingness to engage in playful activities as well as broaden their interactions with their peers

1574943

Whenever you are feeling low and anxious, just simply GO OUTSIDE and embrace nature! According to a new research study published in Frontiers in Psychology, being connected to nature and physically touching animals and flowers enable children to be happier and altruistic in nature. Not only does nature exert a bountiful force on adults, but it also serves as a therapeutic antidote to children, especially during their developmental years.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

5 Simple Ways To Give Yourself Grace, Especially When Life Gets Hard

Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we are becoming.

982671
Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

If there's one thing I'm absolutely terrible at, it's giving myself grace. I'm easily my own worst critic in almost everything that I do. I'm a raging perfectionist, and I have unrealistic expectations for myself at times. I can remember simple errors I made years ago, and I still hold on to them. The biggest thing I'm trying to work on is giving myself grace. I've realized that when I don't give myself grace, I miss out on being human. Even more so, I've realized that in order to give grace to others, I need to learn how to give grace to myself, too. So often, we let perfection dominate our lives without even realizing it. I've decided to change that in my own life, and I hope you'll consider doing that, too. Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we're becoming. As you read through these five affirmations and ways to give yourself grace, I hope you'll take them in. Read them. Write them down. Think about them. Most of all, I hope you'll use them to encourage yourself and realize that you are never alone and you always have the power to change your story.

Keep Reading... Show less
Entertainment

Breaking Down The Beginning, Middle, And End of Netflix's Newest 'To All The Boys' Movie

Noah Centineo and Lana Condor are back with the third and final installment of the "To All The Boys I've Loved Before" series

904029
Netflix

Were all teenagers and twenty-somethings bingeing the latest "To All The Boys: Always and Forever" last night with all of their friends on their basement TV? Nope? Just me? Oh, how I doubt that.

I have been excited for this movie ever since I saw the NYC skyline in the trailer that was released earlier this year. I'm a sucker for any movie or TV show that takes place in the Big Apple.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

4 Ways To Own Your Story, Because Every Bit Of It Is Worth Celebrating

I hope that you don't let your current chapter stop you from pursuing the rest of your story.

588606
Photo by Manny Moreno on Unsplash

Every single one of us has a story.

I don't say that to be cliché. I don't say that to give you a false sense of encouragement. I say that to be honest. I say that to be real.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

How Young Feminists Can Understand And Subvert The Internalized Male Gaze

Women's self-commodification, applied through oppression and permission, is an elusive yet sexist characteristic of a laissez-faire society, where women solely exist to be consumed. (P.S. justice for Megan Fox)

375642
Paramount Pictures

Within various theories of social science and visual media, academics present the male gaze as a nebulous idea during their headache-inducing meta-discussions. However, the internalized male gaze is a reality, which is present to most people who identify as women. As we mature, we experience realizations of the perpetual male gaze.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

It's Important To Remind Yourself To Be Open-Minded And Embrace All Life Has To Offer

Why should you be open-minded when it is so easy to be close-minded?

493467

Open-mindedness. It is something we all need a reminder of some days. Whether it's in regards to politics, religion, everyday life, or rarities in life, it is crucial to be open-minded. I want to encourage everyone to look at something with an unbiased and unfazed point of view. I oftentimes struggle with this myself.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments