Reat Griffin Underwood, a talented 14 year-old high school freshman will be honored tonight at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City. Before the start of the game between the New York Yankees and Kansas City Royals, a rendition of the Star Spangled Banner sung by Reat Underwood will be played on the Kauffman Stadium video board. It was a dream of his to sing the anthem at a Royal’s game. The video will be introduced to the fans by stadium announcer Mike McCartney:
“it was Reat Underwood’s greatest wish to sing The Star-Spangled Banner at a Royals game. Tonight we honor that request in his memory … as we pay respect to our flag and country as we honor America with this video performance of our national anthem by Reat Underwood.”
Reat and his grandfather, Dr. William Corporon, were murdered in April as they arrived for an audition for “KC Superstar” being held at the Jewish Community Center of Kansas City. Terri LaManno, 53 was the third victim of a despicable human who committed the crime.
I look at crimes such as these as robberies. Obviously the victims were robbed of their lives, their loved ones robbed of sons, fathers, mothers, daughters, grandfathers. And the rest of us were robbed of the possible association with good people and deprived of the contributions these people would have continued to make to a better world.
Reat had accomplished so much in 14 short years it is impossible to predict what heights he would have achieved if he had been allowed to live. But a man filled with hate robbed Reat and all of us. He didn’t know Reat or his grandfather, they were just in the wrong place when this sick individual was on the attack.
I am loath to classify people as evil but there are those for whom the adjective seems appropriate. Others may consider them mentally impaired. But the results of what these people do with their lives is so horrendous it is hard to generate any sympathy for their situations. People who commit crimes such as the shooting of Reat, his grandfather and Terri in the name of some imagined or even real grievance are impossible for me to understand.
For whatever reason, hate takes over in some people’s lives. And for me or anyone to give these people any publicity seems wrong. I will however link to this site, nodisinfo.com, because it seems the best way to expose people such as these. They deny the shootings ever occurred and that Reat is still alive. They of course don’t believe the reality of 9-11 or anything else that challenges their warped world view.
The Westboro Baptist Church had threatened to protest at the funerals of Reat and his grandfather, this is another group of people that makes people exclaim, “what the ….”. They proclaimed in Tweets, “Thank God for shootings at Overland Park KS jewish centers! God didn’t passover. Westboro to picket funerals.” Hatred? Insanity?
A group in Kansas City decided to show up with a message of Love Wins and they say the WBC group was there but didn’t get out of their cars after seeing them.
Another shooting victim, this time in New York was also honored before a Yankees and Mets game at Citi Field. Gama Droiville was shot just above his right eye while waiting at a bus stop in Brooklyn. As in the shooting in Kansas City, the victim was in the wrong place at the wrong time and is paying a high price for the actions of another piece of human trash. This time a different race and different reasoning in the mind of the lunatic doing the shooting.
Thankfully Gama is, against the odds, alive. He and the choir he sings in was given the opportunity to sing the Star Spangled Banner before the crowd at the Mets’ game.
Can anyone deny that letting emotion and hate rule your actions is a bad thing? And in the cases here, good people with a history of, and potential for, doing good things in their lives, have suffered at the hands of people who because of their misplaced emotions and hate commit acts of stupidity.