May 22. 2005 changed Huntington,WV forever. I will never forget the horror of waking up to the news of four young lives taken so senselessly and so tragically.
The victims were Dante Ward, 19; Eddrick Clark, 18; Michael Dillon, 17; and Megan Poston, 16. Poston was Dillon’s date to his high school prom Saturday night. Authorities said the two other victims did not attend the prom.
Four good kids out celebrating a magical time. The night ended in horror. Seventeen years later and the pain is still there. What makes it even harder is that justice has not been served. No one has ever been charged with the murders.
Saturday May 21 is being recognized as a Day of Hope in Huntington with events planned for Saturday. Tina Ward is hosting a HMemorial of Remembrance on Friday.
Seventeen years later, the tragedies have evolved into many meanings. One is remembering and paying tribute to the lives that were lost and the loss suffered by friends and family.
It is also the day Huntington lost its innocence forever. We were immediately faced with the reality that violence can take our loved ones at anytime. Our children are never totally safe even in happy moments.
There has always been the pain that justice has failed these families. The families of the these victims live everyday knowing the killers roam free.
But despite the pain and loss, the community has come together to create a celebration of Hope for the present and future. The theme this year is A New Day Dawning.
It is good that such pain is evolving into Hope. It is good that happy thoughts can come from a night filled with such sorrow.
Tina Ward says,” We're going to let off balloons right before it gets dark hopefully enough to fill up the sky.”
The four young lives will never be forgotten.
One thing cannot be forgotten…that is the quest for justice. The families deserve answers. Someone must pay for these murders.
Hold your loved ones extra tight on this night. We learned on May 22, 2005, that they can be gone in an instance.