The death of a child is always a tragedy. When that child is the innocent victim of senseless violence, it tends to touch people he didn’t even know. Jacob Hall was shot last week at his South Carolina elementary school. His funeral, today, shows just how much his short life has meant to those around him.
Jacob’s family and the community of Townville gathered today to pay tribute to the boy, and they’re all dressed like superheros.
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When news broke of the shooting at Townville Elementary School, many celebrated the rapid response of a volunteer fireman who took down the shooter. At the time, there were two children and one teacher wounded. Jacob was one of those.
A few miles away, the shooter’s father was found murdered. News of his death was quickly followed by news that Jacob was in critical condition. He died several days later.
His family, though, had a request. Jacob loved superheros. They asked that all of those who wanted to remember Jacob wear something that would have made him happy. So mourners put aside the suits and black dresses and put on the colorful t-shirts and costumes.
Super heroes for Jacob. The idea has gone viral. Now that the boy has passed away, the family needs help covering the funeral expenses. So volunteers are chipping in. Some are even printing superhero shirts to help raise money.
Even the pallbearers were dressed in honor of Jacob. The boy was buried today, in a Batman costume.
One of the more striking images from the day is that of the local police. This image of them holding open their uniform shirts reveals their true identities. And this is what the day is about, in a larger sense.
Up until news broke of Jacob’s death, this event had been seen as a triumph for law enforcement. A psychotic teenager bent on killing innocent people chose the easiest target he could find. Though he’d shot three people, he was taken down by an unarmed first responder. This was heroism in action.
Yet Jacob paid the price. In his memory, now, we must not just celebrate the heroes the 6-year-old idolized–we have be better heroes.