at this time, Laurie burst into our basement office, asking, "Did you hear that?"
I turned the music down. I heard what I thought were five or six firecrackers going off, not an uncommon sound in our college neighborhood. Laurie insisted it was like gunfire you hear on the news from Iraq. We listened for more. I thought about going outside to check it out. When we didn't hear sirens or any other loud sounds, we went to bed. Little did we know that this modest college town was going into a lock-down that wouldn't end until 6:30 the following morning.
I woke the next morning to an e-mail from mIEKAL aND with the heading "hoping you and yours are well." I opened Google News. Laurie was right. She had heard automatic gunfire (over 160 rounds fired in total). One police officer was killed, another injured, another man murdered in the church adjacent to the high school in which I teach (seven blocks from home), and the shooter a suicide in the church sanctuary. The next day we learned that the shooter had also killed his wife before his downtown rampage. Four dead in Moscow, Idaho, May 19, 2007.
Yesterday, May 25, to honor Officer Lee Newbill, nearly 300 police cars and other emergency vehicles from throughout the Northwest (from Seattle, Portland, Alaska, California, Utah, Montana) and other places converged on Moscow, whose population of 22,000 boasts but 30 or so police cars of its own. The procession through downtown, taking over thirty minutes, drew hundreds to the streets. Over 6,000 people attended the memorial service at University of Idaho's Kibbie Dome. The memorial was carried live on Spokane and Lewiston television, so thousands more observed the ceremony.
The magnitude of the latter event goes a long way to eclipse the magnitude of the first.