There will be plenty of time to investigate all the red flags and warning signs that people missed during the weeks, months, and years leading up to Wednesday’s horrific slaughter at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. There will be plenty of time to debate how tighter gun-control laws, or more aggressive mental-health policies, or different school-safety procedures could help make mass shootings a less frequent occurrence.
For now, rather than focus on the evil we witnessed, we should all take a moment to celebrate the heroism and sacrifice that saved lives.
We should celebrate people like teacher Melissa Falkowski, who squeezed 19 students into a classroom closet to keep them safe. We should celebrate people like the janitor who stopped a group of students from inadvertently running toward the gunman. We should celebrate the teacher who ran over and opened her door to give those students a place to hide.
And we definitely should celebrate Douglas assistant football coach and security guard Aaron Feis, who made the ultimate sacrifice to protect others.
As CNN reports:
Football coach Aaron Feis threw himself in front of students as bullets hailed down Wednesday at his alma mater, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
It would become perhaps the final act undertaken by this assistant coach and security guard, who suffered a gunshot wound and later died after he was rushed into surgery, according to the school’s football program and its spokeswoman, Denise Lehtio.
“He died the same way he lived — he put himself second,” Lehtio said. “He was a very kind soul, a very nice man. He died a hero.”
We often forget the heroes of mass shootings, because the shootings themselves are just so awful, and the horror and grief is overwhelming. But I won’t soon forget Aaron Feis, who showed us the very best of humanity on a day when we also saw the very worst.