||[28 Jan 2008|05:17am]
Before I begin, I would like to say that I don't expect you to understand, let alone respond to me.
I first off would like to commend you on turning a day of "mourning and sadness" of thousands of people in a community into a day of "Michael Crook". I can only begin to imagine at what a feeling it is to become so infamous on an incident that has no concern to you and turn it into a day of your glory. You've managed to become a "house-hold name" in our community overnight. This is quite an achievement.
However, this baffles my mind. After reading your assessment of this tragedy, I asked myself: Would Mr. Michael Crook classify you into his category of "people"? Because as he said, "People shouldn't mourn stupidity." Yet I am mourning on this day, the day I lost five of my peers, four of which were considered as "my boyz". I came to the conclusion that, no Josh, Mr. Crook would not consider you or your community as "people".
But Josh, if you aren't an example of "people", what is? I guess a person shouldn't pray. They're dead, right? Don't put these "douche bags" into your prays tonight. As Mr. Crook would say: Stop being a bitch Josh.
To actually believe that, I must be stupid as well. However, using my North Marion High School education, I know, for a fact, that I am not stupid. Nor were they. Being not only a graduate, but the Class President of the 2007 graduating class of North Marion, I've learned a thing or two. I know there is a world of knowledge out there, and I've merely begun to break into that world.
See Mr. Crook, North Marion High School has taught me to never judge a book by it's cover. It seems to me that you might have not been taught this same philosophy. Instead of trying to understand what has happened, you have jumped to a conclusion that these young men were "stupid, ghetto boyz who arrogantly thought their car was an airplane". This is were I made my conclusion, which I feel is a fair conclusion, of you, as stupid.
You see, at North Marion High School, we are taught around a simple slogan: The Big 3. The Big 3 is: Do what's right, do your best, and treat others the way you'd like to be treated. It's seems that these three things to live by are so simple, so elementary. If you only knew though, Mr. Crook. This simple slogan somehow built the community we have, which is a group of the strongest people I've ever met in my life. The world can definetely use a few more of the type of people that come out of our community. Not only our community, but out of our town. So go ahead, downplay Ocala, because after all Mr. Crook, you seem to be a perfect individual, or that's the way you make it seem.
These young men were not stupid. These young men were not douche bags. This group were some of the nicest, well-mannered young adults that any person would ever meet. And for some stranger (Yes, you Mr. Crook), to make such crude statements about them makes not only myself, but thousands, to feel such mixed emotions. At first I wanted to tell you mean, hateful things. It made me want to bring harm upon you Mr. Crook. Then I realized, that is not the way I was brought up. My "Northside Pride" as we call it, made me come back to reality. Making such actions would be "me doing without thinking".
So to "drive it home", me doing after thinking, I'd like to say this Mr. Crook. This is not the last you will hear from me. You've made your move, and now it's time for me to make mine. But really, it's not my move. It's going to be for Devon, Dustin, Jacob, Josh, and Isaac. I will make my voice heard Mr. Crook. It will be the voice for every person that knew these fine young men, whether family, friends, co-workers, whoever. Because I am in some way like you, and in that way I mean that I too have an outspoken nature.
I have decided that I, Joshua Dallas Torch, am going to start a petition. A petition to show "people" that the real story of my friends needs be heard by millions. How I am going to do it, to get my voice heard, I'm not too sure of yet. But I promise you, no I take that back, I promise everyone that loved these young men that they were special, and that they lived a very special life. Their lives were so special that somehow they will guide me to get their story heard.
So for anyone that has read this, that wants their story to be heard, sign my petition. Let me tell their story. Don't do it for me, because I for damn sure am not doing this for myself. I'm doing it for them.
As for you Mr. Crook, I pray for you. It's unreal to believe that some of my best friends were taken from me at such a young age. Blame it on alcohol. Blame it on our community. Downplay us Mr. Crook. Why would an individual purposely try to hurt people even more after such a tradegy? I really hope this makes you feel better about yourself.
And as for Devon, Dustin, Jacob, Josh, and Isaac, I know you would do the same for me. I love you more than words can explain. I'm sorry I haven't shed one tear. I'm sorry I decided not to be with you last night. I know if you were here, you all would be the first to sign my petition. So in your memory, I will sign your names as the first five names on my petition to get your story heard. I love you all. Nothing will ever replace you.
And by the way, when i re-read this, I cried.
Nothing but love,
Joshua Dallas Torch