Too Close To Home: The Tragedy at the Gilroy Garlic Festival

By now the whole world knows about the gunman that killed 3 people and injured dozen over the past weekend at the Gilroy Garlic Festival. Another day and another tragedy.

Hearing these kind of horrific events always breaks my heart, but this one in particular breaks my heart in a different way because it happened in my backyard. It happened a 30-40 minute drive from my place.

Living in Silicon Valley/the Bay Area my whole life, the Gilroy Garlic Festival was always mentioned as a main thing to do in the summer. It was a summer stable. My timeline always overflowed with people posting about going to the festival.

So when I learned about what had happened it hurt on a deeper level. At a great community function, that I had heard about my whole life, a horrible tragedy happened.

I learned about the events, not from the news, but from a friend who texted my sister and I to make sure we were not at the festival. It was a surreal moment thinking that there was a slight chance that I could be somewhere where people were injured.

With the event happening in my backyard it gave me a different perspectives on the similar events around the country. The main one being how large the ripple effect of these events go. Of course family and friends of the victims are touched, but so is the community and other people that are near the victims. My best friend told me that one of the victims, whose young son was murdered, was a co worker of hers. My heart shattered into a million pieces. My friend’s co worker was seriously injured and probably did not know the fate of her son. She also shared that many other co workers were struggling with the news.

Goosebumps. I, in some way, was closer to the tragedy than I could ever imagine. And I never thought about the other victims, from all over the country, co workers and how they were affected. And that is just one wave of the ripple. There are other people, further away in the ripple, that are affected. The mail carrier who always said hello each day; the barista who looked forward to their favorite customer visiting etc. These horrible events take people away from each other’s lives and smiles are lost. We don’t know how large an area these events affect.

Without a doubt the events of the Gilroy Garlic Festival have put on a new set of glasses on my eyes and I see these events in a totally different light.

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