Along with millions of others, my maternal grandfather and various great uncles -- Methodists, Episcopalians, a Baptist, and one Catholic -- once went to war almost eight decades ago, in part, to stop the sort of thing that happened yesterday. On Saturday during religious services at The Tree of Life Synagogue in the Squirrel Hill section of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, an individual with a history of antisemitic behavior murdered 11 people:
Joyce Fienberg, 75, Rose Mallinger, 97, Jerry Rabinowitz, 66, Cecil Rosenthal, 59, David Rosenthal, 54, Daniel Stein, 71, Melvin Wax, 88, and Irving Younger, 69, Richard Gottfried, 65, and Bernice Simon, 84, and Sylvan Simon, 86.
During the first half of the 1990s, I used to catch the bus to and from college daily just up the street from this particular temple in a quiet, tree-lined neighborhood where you might think this kind of thing would never happen. Have we learned nothing?