No matter how hard I try, I cannot imagine what was in the hearts and minds of the murderers.

On Oct. 6, 1998, Matthew Shepard, who was openly gay, was tied to a log fence, pistol whipped in the head and face over 19 times with the butt of a large Smith and Wesson revolver. He was left on the fence in the frigid cold weather. The following evening he was discovered by a teenager on a mountain bike who thought he’d found a fallen scarecrow or Halloween costume. Matthew Shepard died five days later, never regaining consciousness.

On June 7, 1998, James Byrd, an African American, was dragged for three miles behind a pickup truck along an asphalt road. James remained conscious most of the dragging and died halfway through it when his body hit a culvert, severing his right arm and head. The three white supremacists continued driving for another 1 ½ miles before dumping the torso in front of a black cemetery.

El Paso shooting suspect believed Texas was better as a territory run by and for white people.

The Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh had 11 worshipers killed. The gunman wanted all Jews to die.

How do we root out this hatred permanently and plant love deep, deep, deep?

Mary Ann Tricsko Sotero

Lake Placid


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