There is no longer such a thing as a quick trip to the library. Whenever she picks up her new book or drops off her old one, she always takes the opportunity to sit in the town square and gaze on the tree. The previously nothing-special tree.
It’s a typical town square tree: a not-too-big trunk you can wrap your hands around, a canopy you can walk under without ducking, its leaves providing a small radius of shade during the hot parts of the year. The tree emerges directly out of a grate plopped into the pavement. Along with a few identical siblings in the square, this tree has borne witness to frolicking children of summer and cheerful holiday carolers in winter, plus various festivals throughout the year.
Now the tree IS special. Not for being the backdrop to happiness, but for being the closest witness to a tragedy, a horrible tragedy.
This tree is the marking place where Officer Ben Gladley fell on that dreadful day, the first day of summer, a time that should have been all about fullness and promise.Continue reading The Unmurder Tree