Everyone says they can tell you where they were when they found out tragedy has happened. The first historical tragic event I remember happening was the Challenger explosion and of course "Baby Jessica." I was 5 and 6 years old when these events happened. I remember watching the on going media coverage of Baby Jessica. That event was so memorable due to the fact that it happened right here in Midland.

I can tell you exactly were I was and what I was doing when Princess Diana was killed. I was in high school sitting at home on a Saturday night because my parents wouldn't let me go to the Youth Center that night. The next historical event I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing was 9/11. A friend called and told me to turn the TV on and I saw the second plane hit the second tower.

Another day I will never forget is August 31st 2019, when tragedy again struck right here at home. On August 31st a man named Seth Ator was fired from his job and set out on a shooting spree that started when he was pulled over. The first victim was the highway patrol officer that had pulled him over. He then high jacked a mail carrier, killed her and took off in the mail van. He would go on to kill six more people and injure 17 others including a 15 month old.

I wasn't physically here in Midland/Odessa at the time. I was actually in the middle of the ocean about to be in the middle of a hurricane trying to figure out whether or not I was going to get off the boat. Long story short I ended up staying on the ship out of the storms way but my heart and prayers were here at home with everyone.  With the help of David from Graffix Xpress we  were able to put up a sign where people could come and offer prayers, write their condolences and word of encouragement.

We will never forget the tragedy that struck the Permian Basin on August 31st, 2019.

Gwendolyn McCown