Darren Drake and the Victims
Last Tuesday, NYC experienced its worst terror attack since 9-11 as a crazed man doing the bidding of ISIS drove a rental truck down a Manhattan bike path.
The carnage was immediate and deadly. A swath of bicycles twisted into macabre shapes shared the path with dead and injured bodies.
With less than three hours before our show, we threw out the rundown and began to gather as many facts as possible with a focus on the terrorist. We needed his name, associates, family, birthplace, and I had to learn the pronunciation of his name.
I remember scanning the names of the victims in a few articles, but the focus was on why and how to stop monsters from entering America whose singular goal was to destroy our way of life.
Then last Friday, I got a call from Father David - the priest at my wife’s church. He reminded me that I met one of the victims of the terror attack: Darren Drake.
I just met him this summer at an event for Father David, and we spent a lot of time talking about a variety of subjects, including cufflinks. I Googled Darren Drake; when his photo popped up, I burst into tears.
Darren’s father wanted me to come to the funeral because he says Darren had a “profound admiration” for me. Those words made me weep even more because I never took the time to memorize, or even learn the correct pronunciation of names of any of the victims.
I didn’t stop to look at their faces and find out where they came from and what their interests were. I felt ashamed.
Yesterday morning, I embraced Darren’s dad at the funeral service and prayed for the family as they sent their amazing son home to be with his heavenly father.
Today, I ask everyone to learn about the victims of horrific violence because they each have a story – wonderful stories that are more important than the names of evil that targeted them.
Sadly, 26 more names were added to this list yesterday. Take the time to learn a little about them. Honor and say a prayer for them, starting with Darren tonight.
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