There was a ceremony today at The University of Texas to rededicate the Tower Garden created to honor those who were killed or wounded 50 years ago today in Austin.The garden is also dedicated to the police heroes who risked their lives to stop the rampage of a student gone mad. Perched high above the main mall the sniper randomly shot students, staff and a policeman with the military precision he’d learned in the Marines.
I attended the ceremony and it was moving. The University initially resisted calls for a fitting monument to those affected by the shootings. The old ways of just trying to forget bad things like war and tragedy only lead to more trauma. Today the University acknowledged that truth and expanded the small memorial hidden away next to a biology pond behind the Tower.
I am an extremely lucky person. While attending UT Law School I worked in the basement of the Tower in a newspaper archive. I went to work each day at noon. I loved walking up the broad main mall looking up at the Tower on my way inside. I used the clock as my guide as to how fast I had to walk. If it was 11:45 I could take my time. If it was 11:55 I had to move. The UT clock is stopped this afternoon at 11:48 and will not begin telling time for 24 Hours to commemorate when the first student was shot. I say I’m lucky because I had quit my job when I graduated from law school 30 days before the first shot was fired. I stood on the mall today thankful for the life I was given and the last 50 years. I pray all of the lost souls have found peace. They are remembered. I weep for them all.