Kate Stringer, currently a policy intern at Fordham, used to be the education reporter in Roseburg, Oregon, the site of this weeks’s unspeakable yet all too familiar campus shooting. As we see look at our TVs and see strangers, she sees the community she used to cover, the students and teachers and families she came to know.
As of three months ago, I was probably the only journalist who had used “Umpqua Community College” in a sentence on Twitter. But yesterday, breathlessly scrolling through the feed on my phone, I came across reporting from NPR, the New York Times, and even my former colleagues at Roseburg’s News-Review—all following the tragic events on a campus I remember as perpetually sunny and dotted with leafy trees. Now it was dotted with blood.
Yesterday, President Obama spoke the words “Roseburg” and “Umpqua Community College” in an impromptu address. “Save these lives and let these people grow up,” he implored. The press room he spoke from has become recognizable from speeches similar to this one.
Roseburg, I can’t get you out of my head. I hope the country can’t either.