Your child. You wake up, and you think about your child. You think about Meadow. You can't believe it, she's 18. Eighteen. You named her Meadow for a special reason. And you can remember the way she looked like a helpless thing after she was born, the way the room smelled, the ground barely beneath you as you strode through the room.
And she's all set to attend Lynn University in the fall. It's close. So she'll still be around. You think about it, and for that moment, you feel the peace and weightlessness of a father who can watch his children transform in beautiful ways. Then, your heart drops, a plummet in your chest, as you remember. Today, you had to bury your child. And each day it's like you have to bury Meadow all over again. It is just unimaginable that you will never see your princess again.
Thus is the daily struggle of Andrew Pollack, whose daughter Meadow was murdered in the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting. The killer aimed, shot Meadow four times. As the killer prowled closer, Meadow struggled to get into a classroom to protect herself.
The door was locked and the teacher wouldn't be opening it. So Meadow crawled over to another student and acted as a shield. Five more rounds spat out of the gun, puncturing Meadow. She collapsed, breathless. Imagine the strength such heroism requires.
If all of that weren't enough, we've discovered that two of the men whose job was to protect the students that day, Andrew Medina and David Taylor, two security guards at the school, could have done the same—no, they should have done the same as Meadow. The men were also baseball coaches, and they had developed a lurid reputation among the girls at Stonewall High School.
There's a reason that the center of Hell is literally ice cold. Frozen. This is where the cowards gather, blind in an unending darkness.
One of the guards, Andrew Medina, saw the killer approaching the school and failed to phone in a code red. Instead, he radioed the other security guard, David Taylor, who then hurried to safety and huddled in a janitor's closet. One of the guards had previously sexually harassed Meadow Pollack, asked her out for drinks. She complained to the school and a report on the matter notes that:
Both students became so uncomfortable with Mr. Medina's comments and actions, they sought out different routes to their classes in an attempt to avoid him.
Imagine that, from the perspective of Meadow's parents. Not only did two teachers at Meadow's school, two grown men, harass and intimidate her, they cowered in fear when they should have bolted to action, and their cowardice led to Meadow's tragic, unimaginable death.
Whatever your religious belief, Dante's Comedia contains incredible insight to the world around us. There's a reason Dante's Inferno structures hell so that the lustful and the gluttonous and the wrathful are near the top: the warmer, more pleasant parts of eternal hell. Those sins, while destructive, are not patently insidious.
The lowest level of hell is reserved for treachery. The people who in life cared only for themselves, at the cost of other people. And there's a reason that the center of Hell is literally ice cold. Frozen. This is where the cowards gather, blind in an unending darkness. Cold, shivering darkness. Darker and colder than any janitor's closet.