Onward: Walking forward from tragedy

Four years after a hate crime, a community comes together to spread positivity.
Originally published on April 22, 2018
This is a follow-up to a multimedia story about the hate crime in Overland Park. Read about the tragedy here.  

Kansas City, Missouri – A sea of people in blue shirts stand in front of the World War I Memorial in Kansas City, Missouri.

The crowd gathers for the SevenDays “Faith, Love & Walk” event. The walk launched after a hate crime on April 13, 2014, that ended with the loss of three lives. By looking at the community converging on April 16, 2018, for the walk, an outsider would never know the start began from hostility.

People walk outside of the World War 1 memorial. The skyline of Kansas City, Missouri backdrops the event.

However, small signs remind the crowd of the victims lost that day.

Fourteen charitable organizations line the sides of the stage, signifying the age of Reat Underwood, the youngest victim.

Reat Underwood’s cousin presents the American flag with his Boy Scout Troop. A recording of Reat singing the national anthem played before the walk.

The families of the three victims stand on the stairs watching KSHB-TV anchor and emcee of the event, Christa Dubill.

“We each have our own personal need to move onwards,” Dubill says. “We hope you find your onward today together.”

Onward is the word of day. Whether participants know it or not, they are a part of a narrative of a community moving forward after tragedy.

Read onward to see why people got involved in the walk that day.

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