Friday, May 25, 2018
Opinion

Community reaches out in family's trying time

Editor's note: On Oct. 13, Army Spc. Brittany Bria Gordon, an Army intelligence analyst, was killed when a suicide bomber attacked her unit in Kandahar, Afghanistan, becoming the first female soldier from Tampa Bay to die in the recent wars. This is a letter of thanks to the community written by her father, St. Petersburg assistant police chief Cedric Gordon.

Our daughter tragically lost her life while doing what she loved — protecting and serving her country. As a soldier, Brittany understood and accepted the moral obligation to serve a cause greater than her own self-interest.

This was an overwhelming, devastating loss that brought great sorrow to me, my family and many of you. In spite of this difficult and trying time, my faith continues to be renewed and inspired by the overwhelming and loving outpouring of support from the people in this great community, state and nation.

I had a monumental task and moral obligation to memorialize Brittany in a way that would be deserving of her act of heroism and bravery. This could not have been accomplished without the support of all of you. As a community, we united in a common cause to achieve this goal. Thanks to you, by all accounts, we exceeded our goal and met our responsibility to Brittany.

Again, this could not have been accomplished without you. My family and I are eternally grateful. Your overwhelming acts of kindness came, and continue to come, in all forms for Brittany and my family — contributions, countless cards, letters, poems, emails, text messages, phone calls, children's drawings, candles, flowers, food, well wishes, prayers, and acts of service by those just pitching in to help — just to name a few.

I would like to thank all the law enforcement agencies and military personnel who supported our family at the services for our daughter Brittany. The entire nation has given, and continues to demonstrate, tremendous love and support to our family.

Please continue to remember the legacy of Brittany by being a beacon of everlasting hope and peace and keep our family in your thoughts and prayers. We must never forget the significance of her sacrifice and remember that all of our destiny is intertwined as we, the nation, continue to come together on a higher plane of dignity, peace, trust, respect and love.

As we celebrate this Veterans Day, let us never forget these brave men and women who are the best and brightest that this world has to offer, and always give them the support and love that they have earned and deserve.

As my daughter Brittany would say to me, "Dad, make it do what it do, and get 'er done!"

Comments
Editorial: Welcome Bayshore changes still canít stop bad judgment

Editorial: Welcome Bayshore changes still canít stop bad judgment

Itís human nature in following any tragedy to imagine: How could this have been prevented? On that score, the city of Tampa responded appropriately to the deaths this week of a mother and her toddler whom police say were hit by a teenage driver racin...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Editorial: Filling Rocky Point lagoon to build townhomes is an empty-headed idea

Editorial: Filling Rocky Point lagoon to build townhomes is an empty-headed idea

One of the worst ideas in a long time in the field of urban planning received a blessing this month when the Hillsborough County City-County Planning Commission approved a land-use change for a project that calls for filling three acres of water insi...
Published: 05/25/18
Editorial: Searching for the real Adam Putnam

Editorial: Searching for the real Adam Putnam

Send out an Amber Alert for Adam Putnam. The red-haired, affable fellow who has served capably as a state legislator, member of Congress and agriculture commissioner is missing. In his place is a far-right caricature who has branded himself as a prou...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Editorial: A strong economic case for restoring voting rights for felons

Editorial: A strong economic case for restoring voting rights for felons

Floridians are paying a steep price for a system that makes it as difficult as possible for people who leave prison to reintegrate into civic life. Gov. Rick Scottís clemency process isnít just archaic and cruel ó it also wastes enormous public resou...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Editorial: Trump right to cancel North Korea talks on nuclear weapons

Editorial: Trump right to cancel North Korea talks on nuclear weapons

Regardless of the reason, the cancellation of the U.S.-North Korea summit to address Pyonyangís nuclear program is hardly the worst possible outcome of this high-stakes diplomatic gamble. President Donald Trump was unprepared, North Koreaís Kim Jong ...
Published: 05/24/18
Updated: 05/25/18

NFL kneels before the altar of profits

The owners of the 32 National Football League teams sent a wrongheaded and, frankly, un-American message to their players Wednesday: Expressing your opinion during the national anthem is no longer permitted."A club will be fined by the League if its ...
Published: 05/24/18

Editorial: A positive first step in ensuring student access at USFSP

As a task force sorts out countless details involved in folding the University of South Florida St. Petersburg back into the major research university based in Tampa, ensuring access for good Pinellas students remains a concern. An enhanced cooperati...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Editorial: Banks still need watching after easing Dodd-Frank rules

Editorial: Banks still need watching after easing Dodd-Frank rules

Legislation that waters down the 2010 Dodd-Frank law and was sent to President Donald Trump this week is a mixed bag at best. Some provisions recognize that Congress may have gone too far in some areas in the wake of the Great Recession to place new ...
Published: 05/23/18
Updated: 05/24/18
Editorial: Honoring our fallen soldiers on Memorial Day

Editorial: Honoring our fallen soldiers on Memorial Day

The rising tensions with Iran, the resurgence of violence in the Mideast and the uncertainty over a nuclear disarmament deal with North Korea combine to create an unsettling time this Memorial Day. These grave threats to peace are another reminder of...
Updated: 8 hours ago

Another voice: The chutzpah of these men

A new phase of the #MeToo movement may be upon us. Call it the "not so fast" era: Powerful men who plotted career comebacks mere months after being taken down by accusations of sexual misconduct now face even more alarming claims.Mario Batali, the ce...
Published: 05/22/18
Updated: 05/23/18