Friday, November 12, 2010

With the twitch of a finger

So you know you're getting old when a vivid memory exceeds the reach of the online union news archives, which only reach back to 1988. Twenty five years ago I was in the middle of a UMass journalism course--'News Reporting and Writing'--taught by a Springfield Union News reporter, who would get the assignment to cover the local news event of the decade.

I'm not sure if it was just the stunning nature of the tragedy or her writing skills sketching the funeral scene; but the front page feature brought tears to my eyes as I'm sure it did many, many readers back in the days when newspapers were as widely read as Facebook is today.

Two young Springfield police officers--Alain Beauregard and Michael Schiavina--pull over a vehicle on a rather routine stop and approach it, like cops are trained to do, from both sides. The 18 year old driver Eduardo “Crazy Eddie” Ortiz, 18, cut them both down with a 357 magnum handgun.

The violent deaths of two officers simply doing their jobs set off an emotional groundswell I had not seen since November 22, 1963. The somber funeral procession along streets they had previously protected, flanked by thousands of brother and sister officers was something to see, but certainly the kind of thing you hope never to see again.

The Springfield Republican reports (25 years later)


Thrills, chills and daffodils said...

Amherst's chamber of commerce makes a video about the town.

I think they've done a great job!

LarryK4 said...

Yeah, thanks for the great segue. Nitwit.

Ed said...

Hopefully they don't cause an accident with their 21-second siren salute -- a police car in traffic suddenly turning on the siren without cause or warning, something bad could happen fairly quickly and I don't think it is something that the two murdered officers would want to have happened on their accord.

It is like the Iraqi police firing their guns up into the air -- those rounds come down somewhere else and are almost as lethal on the way down as they were on the way up...

Call me many things, but you really do have to think "safety first" lest you want to live with the consequences....