Sunday, November 19, 2017
Opinion

Community reaches out in family's trying time

RECOMMENDED READING


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: Good for Tampa council member Frank Reddick to appeal for community help to solve Seminole Heights killings

As the sole black member of the Tampa City Council, Frank Reddick was moved Thursday to make a special appeal for help in solving four recent murders in the racially mixed neighborhood of Southeast Seminole Heights. "I’m pleading to my brothers. You ...
Published: 11/17/17
Editorial: It’s time to renew community’s commitment to Tampa Theatre

Editorial: It’s time to renew community’s commitment to Tampa Theatre

New attention to downtown Tampa as a place to live, work and play is transforming the area at a dizzying pace. Credit goes to recent projects, both public and private, such as the Tampa River Walk, new residential towers, a University of South Florid...
Published: 11/17/17
Editorial: Rays opening offer on stadium sounds too low

Editorial: Rays opening offer on stadium sounds too low

The Rays definitely like Ybor City, and Ybor City seems to like the Rays. So what could possibly come between this match made in baseball stadium heaven? Hundreds (and hundreds and hundreds) of millions of dollars. Rays owner Stu Sternberg told Times...
Published: 11/16/17
Updated: 11/17/17
Editorial: Wage hike for contractors’ labor misguided

Editorial: Wage hike for contractors’ labor misguided

St. Petersburg City Council members are poised to raise the minimum wage for contractors who do business with the city, a well-intended but misguided ordinance that should be reconsidered. The hourly minimum wage undoubtedly needs to rise — for every...
Published: 11/16/17

Editorial: Make workplaces welcoming, not just free of harassment

A federal trial began last week in the sex discrimination case that a former firefighter lodged against the city of Tampa. Tanja Vidovic describes a locker-room culture at Tampa Fire Rescue that created a two-tier system — one for men, another for wo...
Published: 11/15/17
Updated: 11/17/17
Editorial: Firing a critic of his handling of the sewer crisis is a bad early step in Kriseman’s new term

Editorial: Firing a critic of his handling of the sewer crisis is a bad early step in Kriseman’s new term

Barely a week after St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman promised to unite the city following a bitter and divisive campaign, his administration has fired an employee who dared to criticize him. It seems Kriseman’s own mantra of "moving St. Pete forwar...
Published: 11/15/17
Updated: 11/16/17
Editorial: USF’s billion-dollar moment

Editorial: USF’s billion-dollar moment

The University of South Florida recently surpassed its $1 billion fundraising goal, continuing a current trend of exceeding expectations. At 61 years old — barely middle age among higher education institutions — USF has grown up quickly. It now boast...
Published: 11/14/17
Updated: 11/17/17
Editorial: Vets should not have to wait years for benefits

Editorial: Vets should not have to wait years for benefits

American military members hurt in service to their country should not have to wait a lifetime for the benefits they deserve. But that’s a reality of the disability process at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, which hasn’t made payi...
Published: 11/14/17

Editorial: Deputies’ rescue reflects best in law enforcement

The bravery two Hillsborough County sheriff’s deputies showed a week ago is a credit to them and reflects the professionalism of the office.Deputies Benjamin Thompson and Trent Migues responded at dusk Nov. 11 after 82-year-old Leona Evans of Webster...
Published: 11/13/17
Updated: 11/17/17

Another voice: An untrustworthy deal with Russia

President Donald Trump’s latest defense of Russian leader Vladimir Putin included — along with a bow to his denials of meddling in the U.S. election — an appeal to pragmatism. "Having a good relationship with Russia is a good thing, not a bad thing,"...
Published: 11/13/17
Updated: 11/14/17