Our deepest sorrow and sympathy is extended to the victims and families of those shot and otherwise injured at the Gilroy Garlic Festival. We honor and thank the men and women who acted quickly to help shelter and comfort those at the event.
There will never be a justified reason for any harm to innocent beings. The incident July 28 is a reminder of both how one person’s or a few individuals’ ill intent can destroy and disrupt so many lives, but also how susceptible each of us is to the crazed thoughts and actions of any deranged individual.
The Gilroy festival mass shooting comes just over a month after the June 26 shooting of two auto dealership managers in Morgan Hill. The Morgan Hill and Gilroy communities are tightly woven together as a South County region and we are linked by family, friendship and work relationships. Many Morgan Hill families and those with jobs in Morgan Hill are impacted by the Gilroy tragedy. I know you will be supportive of our Gilroy neighbors as they struggle through this difficult time. Whether these horrendous crimes occur in our neighborhoods or other places on Earth, they shatter lives and our sense of security and comfort around the world.
What we know, however, is that our community and our society cannot succumb to the mental instability which seems to be growing around the world. Now has to be a time to reach out to one another and reconnect to the values we hold so dearly, and to protect the cause of a civilized society. We must reach out to those who are despondent, hurting, or have a degraded value of interpersonal connection. It is a time to show compassion for those who have experienced tragedy and/or shocking events.
The strength of our community will be marked by our ability to invest in the human condition we each value so much.
Steve Betando, Superintendent, Morgan Hill Unified School District