On Sunday, churchgoers will commemorate and celebrate Juneteenth during their worship services. Throughout the day there will be colorful parades, coast-to-coast music festivals, visits to historical sites, large gatherings within local communities, team sports — and plenty of barbecue.
In Galveston, Texas — the birthplace of Juneteenth — congregants at Reedy Chapel A.M.E. Church will begin their service at 11 a.m. and end the day with a freedom march. This was one of the locations the enslaved people heard these words, from General Order, No. 3, the original Juneteenth order, on June 19, 1865: “The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free.”
Dr. Roy Guerrero, a pediatrician in Texas, testified during Wednesday’s hearing and recounted a horrifying and disturbing scene he saw at Uvalde Memorial Hospital on the day of the mass shooting.
Guerrero — who said he’s lived in Uvalde his whole life and treated children in the community before the massacre — said that he “raced” to Uvalde Memorial Hospital on the day of the mass shooting.
Read his full remarks here:
“My name is Dr. Roy Guerrero. I am a board certified pediatrician and I was present at Uvalde Memorial Hospital the day of the massacre on May 24th, 2022 at Robb Elementary School. I was called here today as a witness. But I showed up because I am a doctor. Because how many years ago I swore an oath — An oath to do no harm.
After witnessing first hand the carnage in my hometown of Uvalde, to stay silent would have betrayed that oath. Inaction is harm. Passivity is harm. Delay is harm. So here I am. Not to plead, not to beg or to convince you of anything. But to do my job. And hope that by doing so it inspires the members of this House to do theirs.
I have lived in Uvalde my whole life. In fact, I attended Robb Elementary School myself as a kid. As often is the case with us grown ups, we remember a lot of the good and not so much of the bad. So I don’t recall homework or spelling bees, I remember how much I loved going to school and what a joyful time it was.
Back then we were able to run between classrooms with ease to visit our friends. And I remember the way the cafeteria smelled lunchtime on Hamburger Thursdays.
It was right around lunchtime on a Tuesday that a gunman entered the school through the main door without restriction, massacred 19 students and two teachers and changed the way every student at Robb and their families will remember that school, forever.
I doubt they’ll remember the smell of the cafeteria or the laughter ringing in the hallways. Instead they’ll be haunted by the memory of screams and bloodshed, panic and chaos. Police shouting, parents wailing. I know I will never forget what I saw that day.
For me, that day started like any typical Tuesday at our Pediatric clinic – moms calling for coughs, boogers, sports physicals – right before the summer rush. School was out in two days then summer camps would guarantee some grazes and ankle sprains. Injuries that could be patched up and fixed with a Mickey Mouse sticker as a reward.
Then at 12:30 business as usual stopped and with it my heart. A colleague from a San Antonio trauma center texted me a message: ‘Why are the pediatric surgeons and anesthesiologists on call for a mass shooting in Uvalde?’
I raced to the hospital to find parents outside yelling children’s names in desperation and sobbing as they begged for any news related to their child. Those mother’s cries I will never get out of my head.
As I entered the chaos of the ER, the first casualty I came across was Miah Cerrillo. She was sitting in the hallway. Her face was still, still clearly in shock, but her whole body was shaking from the adrenaline coursing through it. The white Lilo and Stitch shirt she wore was covered in blood and her shoulder was bleeding from a shrapnel injury.
Sweet Miah. I’ve known her my whole life. As a baby she survived major liver surgeries against all odds. And once again she’s here. As a survivor. Inspiring us with her story today and her bravery.
When I saw Miah sitting there, I remembered having seen her parents outside. So after quickly examining two other patients of mine in the hallway with minor injuries, I raced outside to let them know Miah was alive. I wasn’t ready for their next urgent and desperate question: ‘Where’s Elena?’
Elena, is Miah’s 8-year-old sister who was also at Robb at the time of the shooting. I had heard from some nurses that there were “two dead children” who had been moved to the surgical area of the hospital. As I made my way there, I prayed that I wouldn’t find her.
I didn’t find Elena, but what I did find was something no prayer will ever relieve.
Two children, whose bodies had been so pulverized by the bullets fired at them, decapitated, whose flesh had been so ripped apart, that the only clue as to their identities was the blood spattered cartoon clothes still clinging to them. Clinging for life and finding none.
I could only hope these two bodies were a tragic exception to the list of survivors. But as I waited there with my fellow Uvalde doctors, nurses, first responders and hospital staff for other casualties we hoped to save, they never arrived. All that remained was the bodies of 17 more children and the two teachers who cared for them, who dedicated their careers to nurturing and respecting the awesome potential of every single one. Just as we doctors do.
I’ll tell you why I became a pediatrician. Because I knew that children were the best patients. They accept the situation as it’s explained to them. You don’t have to coax them into changing their lifestyles in order to get better or plead them to modify their behavior as you do with adults.
No matter how hard you try to help an adult, their path to healing is always determined by how willing they are to take action. Adults are stubborn. We’re resistant to change even when the change will make things better for ourselves. But especially when we think we’re immune to the fallout.
Why else would there have been such little progress made in Congress to stop gun violence?
Innocent children all over the country today are dead because laws and policy allows people to buy weapons before they’re legally even old enough to buy a pack of beer. They are dead because restrictions have been allowed to lapse. They’re dead because there are no rules about where guns are kept. Because no one is paying attention to who is buying them.
The thing I can’t figure out is whether our politicians are failing us out of stubbornness, passivity or both.
I said before that as grown ups we have a convenient habit of remembering the good and forgetting the bad. Never more so than when it comes to our guns. Once the blood is rinsed away from the bodies of our loved ones, and scrubbed off the floors or the schools and supermarkets and churches, the carnage from each scene is erased from our collective conscience and we return once again to nostalgia.
To the rose tinted view of our second amendment as a perfect instrument of American life, no matter how many lives are lost.
I chose to be a pediatrician. I chose to take care of children. Keeping them safe from preventable diseases I can do. Keeping them safe from bacteria and brittle bones I can do. But making sure our children are safe from guns, that’s the job of our politicians and leaders.
In this case, you are the doctors and our country is the patient. We are lying on the operating table, riddled with bullets like the children of Robb Elementary and so many other schools. We are bleeding out and you are not there.
My oath as a doctor means that I signed up to save lives. I do my job. And I guess it turns out that I am here to plead. To beg. To please, please do yours.”
“We’re delighted to offer live performances again,” said Talking Gourds Co-Director
Emma Youngquist. “Walking Talking Gourds will showcase mostly local poets and
storytellers as an in-person complement to our Bardic Trails virtual zoom readings on
the first Tuesday of every month at the Wilkinson Public Library.” That series stars poets
from all over the country as featured readers
For decades, Western U.S. states have been measuring snow through hundreds of remote sensing sites known as SNOTEL stations. But as climate change causes rising temperatures, water managers are looking for other ways to finetune forecasting methods.
May 4, 2022
By Brittany Peterson, The Associated Press
GUNNISON — At a tiny airport surrounded by mountains, a three-person crew takes off for the inaugural flight above the headwaters of the Colorado River to measure the region’s snow by air.
Under the plane is a device that uses lasers, cameras and sensors to map snow and help drought-prone communities improve forecasts of how much water will later fill reservoirs.
The method, developed nearly a decade ago at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, “is the gold standard of snow measurement,” said Emily Carbone of the Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District, one of Colorado’s largest water providers and the primary funder for the flight.
For decades, Western U.S. states have been measuring snow through hundreds of remote sensing sites known as SNOTEL stations, which are operated by the federal Natural Resources Conservation Service. But as climate change causes rising temperatures, snow at those sites — at around 9,000 feet above sea level — is melting earlier than normal and pushing water managers to look for other ways to finetune forecasting methods.
Among the options is a method of aerial snow mapping, which gives precise snow measurements across an entire basin.
But Miller noted the limitations of even aerial snow mapping, which can cost tens of thousands of dollars or more per flight and only provide measurements for the day flown. The technology also doesn’t account for variables such as air temperature and late-season storms that can affect water supplies.
Others are working on ways to improve snow measurements too.
On the same day the plane scans the river’s headwaters, the U.S. Geological Survey is on the ground researching an option that could be more affordable, even if it’s not as precise. The agency installed its own remote sensing stations above and below the typical elevation of SNOTEL sites and its laser-equipped drones measured the surrounding area.
Those results could take a couple of months to process since they’re still in the testing phase, said Suzanne Paschke, who is managing the project for USGS. The agency also paid for a segment of the headwaters snow mapping flight so it could cross-check its measurements.
Meanwhile, SNOTEL sites are also undergoing upgrades that could result in more accurate modeling, said Karl Wetlaufer, who helps run the program. In coming years, the federal agency plans to expand the number of sites that include sensors for solar radiation, wind and soil moisture. But the stations still can’t be moved to higher elevations, where wind can whip snow around exposed mountaintops and make it hard to measure, Wetlaufer said.
The newer methods help fill in those data gaps at high elevations.
In June 2019, four SNOTEL stations showed snow had largely melted out in the Blue River basin, which feeds into the Dillon Reservoir that provides water to the Denver area. But mapping by Airborne Snow Observatories showed significant snow remained at higher elevations — giving water managers enough time to make room in the reservoir for the incoming runoff.
“That information allowed us to prepare for a second peak of runoff and accurately lower our reservoirs to capture that water and avoid any flooding impacts downstream,” said Taylor Winchell, climate adaptation strategist at Denver Water.
The event and other success stories from California water managers who had been using the technology for several years prompted the formation of a coalition of Colorado water agencies, nonprofits and local governments to pursue more snow mapping flights.
“We think it’s worth it to get more valuable and detailed information, but we can’t afford to fly as often as we’d like,” said Northern Water’s Emily Carbone, who is heading up the group.
The group developed a plan to seek outside funding for flights and in March won a grant to help cover some of the costs from the Colorado Water Conservation Board.
After her agency’s first snow mapping flight last month over the headwaters of the Colorado River, Carbone was eager to get her hands on the results.
The data indicated that as of mid-April, there was 369,000 acre-feet of water stored in snow above the reservoirs at the head of the Colorado River. Since it was the first time that region’s snow was mapped by air, there are no historical trends for comparison. Carbone is still working to calculate how much of it could make it into the reservoir.
Northern Water has commissioned another flight in May over the same area, which will reveal how much snow has melted since the April flight and how efficient it is at running off into reservoirs.
“We have a lot to learn but it’s cool to get this data and really get a better picture of what’s going on in our basin snowpack,” she said.
Michael is a dear friend of mine. I’ve known him since Jorge (his dad) and I skied with him on our backs around the San Juans in his early years. That was his beginning and he’s carried on with great skill and style since his intro into the world of mountains so long ago. Michael’s account of his mountain experience doesn’t read as your typical chest thumping narrative but one with great humility, gratefulness and Buddhist loving kindness. Read with enthusiasm.
Jerry, thanks for sending on. Not only is he a great writer, but from what I hear a great skier. He took one of my grand sons on a day climb a couple years ago at Exum. We all watched him grow up at guides camp.
George’s son Michael really gets after it and like you said he remains humble and happy that he can do these great climbs on these Alaskan peaks. He is just like his parents and so at home in the mountains…
Seldom Seen Denny (Hogan)
Just finished Michael’s story. Beautiful piece of writing. Not sure what’s a bigger challenge, climbing a new route in AK or staring at a blank computer screen with a big, personal story to share. Where to begin, how to organize your thoughts about such conflicting and still emerging ideas? He’s got the creative gift and knows how to suffer. Two big advantages in life. He knows, like his Mom, Dad and ”extended family”- you better take a big bite out of life and let the juices run down your face.
“And then a head popped up from the backseat of the car. “No way, look at this storm! You can’t really learn these kind of skills in drivers’ ed.” My dad leaned forward awoken from an hours-long sleep in the backseat.”
“We don’t really need to be home tonight, do we?” he said. “What do you say we pull over and sleep in a snow cave or something?”
I can’t think of anything that better captures the wonderful, crazy, light hearted zaniness that was George Gardner. And Michael’s is the best piece of writing about friends and mountaineering I’ve read in decades. Bravo!!
Dr. Doug Rovira