This past weekend, gunfire in a Northwest Miami-Dade community left an 8-year old on life support, took three lives, and left four other community members with bullet wounds. One of the three lives that were taken is James Page, preacher and father of Jada Page, the 8-year old currently on child support.
After the shooting, police officers, community leaders and family members gather, in front of the house where both were shot, to speak on the events. Promptly after the ceremony, police officers began to go door-to-door handing fliers with a Ford Fusion, the car that is believed to have been used by the shooter.
Neighbors, like Janet Hertilien, mourned the loss of their close friend and his daughter. Hertilien spoke of Page’s love for his daughter, and Jada’s love for dance and the color pink.
A vigil and march was put together by Tangela Sears, community activist and a victim of losing a child to violence. County figures attended the service—Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez, MDCPS Superintendent Alberto Carvalho—as well as other parents who lost children to this sort of violence.
Although this is a tragic event and there are people suffering a loss, the world as a whole continues to brush it off after a week or two. The lives that have fallen due to senseless violence become another statistic, and it is forgotten but all except those who continue to hope and fight for a better tomorrow. It seem as though the world no longer sees the victims as humans, as people who are suffering, as people who had lives similar to their own. When victims are remembered the public hears meaningless chants of “They were good people. They were so caring. They didn’t deserve this. They never did anything wrong.” The pain becomes real when friends and family begin to dig into the little things of a victim’s life.
James Page was a preacher. He was good friends with his neighbor, Janet Hertilien. He was in love with his daughter, Jada Page. Jada Page was an 8-year old girl. She loved to dance. She loved the color pink. James wanted to see his daughter grow up and become the best version of herself. Jada wanted to enjoy the freedom of dancing. These little facts are what’s lost in the eye of those who skim through the article informing them of the lives lost right in their community.
The mass desensitization of the public is the reason more isn’t being done to prevent further loss, to stop increases in gun violence, to stop incidents of abuse. If society as a whole were to give up a small part of their own comfort to step out and help those who are working towards bettering the world and not just themselves, then the world might just become a better place.