You are never truly prepared for a moment that changes lives forever. It really hits home when the tragedy affects the lives of colleagues, friends and families of people that you know in the broadcast industry. Today we want to remember and pay respects to Reporter Alison Parker and Videographer Adam Ward of WDBJ in Roanoke. Tragically their lives were taken while they were doing the thing they loved the most, reporting the news. We now know that their lives were taken by former disgruntled and angry employee, who appears to have suffered from mental illness.
It was heartwarming to see how the staff of WDBJ, through all of their grief and sorrow, focused on remembering the wonderful lives of these two individuals.
Alison was the epitome of “hometown girl does good” after graduating from James Madison University. And her boyfriend and colleague Chris Hurst revealed to the world that Alison was the hardest working person that he knew and that they were in love and planned to marry.
Adam Ward from all accounts was that special individual who always made the people at the station feel better about the world they lived in. Adam, a Virginia Tech grad, was also in love, engaged and planned to marry the love of his life.
We were all happy to learn that Vicki Gardner of the local Chamber of Commerce survived her gunshot wounds and is in recovery, but we all know that her life has been changed forever.
The deaths of Alison and Adam remind us that life is precious and that we are all very vulnerable.
On behalf of the NBC12 family, I want to express our heartfelt condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Alison and Adam. It is certainly without question that these two special people will never be forgotten.