I cannot explain why, but I am sad. I see write-ups on Timothy McVeigh’s death; I see articles about his death; I read the opinions that people have on his death. All I can feel is sad. Sad for the victims, sad for Mr. McVeigh, sad for McVeigh’s family, sad for America. Just sad, I suppose.
This incident has become such a public spectacle. I realize by this Day Log, I am contributing, but that in fact is why this is a Day Log, not a reactions to McVeigh’s death node.
I don’t know if the death penalty is right or wrong. I was against it for quite a while. Then my Uncle Nelson was killed. It was terrible. He had just left my grandfather’s place. He left earlier than planned so he could get ready for work the next day. As he was driving home, he had to cross the Mid-Hudson Bridge. Coming in the opposite direction was a man who just had gotten in a fight with his wife. This fight apparently caused something to snap in his mind. He had decided to take his life by driving his car, into a car going to opposite direction on the bridge. My uncle’s Car was the one he picked.
This man, who determined he wanted to die, lived. My uncle, who had left Grandpa’s place early so he could get ready for work, died. We found out about the “accident” immediately. My family went to my Grandpa’s while I stayed home. We had all guessed that he had went into insulin shock and crashed. We were very sad.
Then the telephone rang. Since I was the only one home, I answered it. It was a reporter from The Poughkeepsie Journal. He wanted to know our reaction to how Nelson died. When he found out that I did not know, he decided to enlighten me as to the events of the evening. My uncle was killed. A man wanted to commit suicide, but failed. In the process, my uncle had died.
For the weeks and months to follow, let me tell you, I believed in the death penalty. It was not allowed in New York State, but I wished with everything I had, it were. I hated this man. He killed my uncle. He never called us to say he was sorry. I wanted him to suffer. Instead, he was let off on “temporary insanity” and went into a mental hospital for a short period of time. Now, he has his family, his job and his life. My uncle has a stone in the veterans’ section of a local cemetery. Did this man ever visit Nelson’s grave? Does he feel remorse? I don’t know.
I wanted him to die. Now, that 6 years have passed, I am glad he didn’t. I am glad his children still have someone they can call “daddy” and his mother still has someone who can call him on Mother’s Day.
I don’t know if I believe in the death penalty. I don’t know if McVeigh should have died. I don’t know if his execution helped people deal with their loss. I don’t know how those people will feel 6 years from now. What I do know is that I am saddened by the whole situation. I feel so badly for the people who lost loved ones. I feel so badly for those who cared about Mr. McVeigh. I feel so badly for Mr. McVeigh himself. I feel so badly for the way America has turned this into a public spectacle.
It’s a sad, sad day.