The pain that family members endure from a heinous and despicable crime committed by other family members must be very agonizing to say the least. However, it is wrong to transfer that anguish and anger to someone other than the actual perpetrators of the original crime.
History is history and there are occasions when we feel proud about our past and there are times we feel very disheartened and sad at what has transpired. But history is history and if it happened, good or bad, it happened and nothing can change that. The only thing we can do is change our perspective in how we react to it.
The "hate mail" that was sent to the Gazette chastising Walt Sehnert for his article on the Travis murder seems to be a knee jerk reaction by family members and others with similar circumstances. Although it is an unpleasant memory we are all in denial if we want to pretend it never happened. It is ironic and somewhat disappointing that none of the "hate mail" made any mention of the torment or grief of the deceased or their families. The only "victims" that were mentioned in the "hate mail" were the family members of the perpetrators and not one solitary word about the deceased or rape victims and their families. Where is the compassion of the "hate mail" writers toward the true victims?
I am sure Jerry Travis would have liked to have had a chance to live his life to the fullest. I am sure the lady that was raped and nearly died in Lincoln would like to pretend it never happened but it did! Some of the other murders mentioned occurred in Sutherland Neb., where six people were murdered with a 10 year old girl and an adult lady raped before they were killed. Do we still want to pretend it never happened?
One of the "hate mail" authors blames the Travis murder on the "big shots of this town". Another says "I hope that one day Mr. Sehnert's dirty laundry is hung out to dry in front of the whole community". If these family members and friends have truly forgiven the original perpetrators, it follows that they should also forgive anyone that makes mention of it today and not direct their anger toward the messenger. If they have not forgiven the perpetrators, it is just plain wrong to transfer that anger toward someone that makes mention of a past horrible event.
If we are so virtuous to demand that anything historic cannot offend anyone then we are done with history. Do we all trash our Holy Bibles because of all the atrocious acts that it depicts? History will continue to be good or bad, depending on one's perspective. We need to be aware of what caused the historic event, good or bad, and not try to impugn or malign the messenger. I will continue to look forward to more columns and articles in the Gazette by Mr. Sehnert.
I trust the family members that are struggling with the acts of others can find it in their hearts to forgive those that offend them. The offender(s), however, is not Mr. Sehnert.