Thursday, March 04, 2010

In the Garden of Eve

March 5, 2008, is a date that has been embedded in my brain. It has now been two years. Her killers have still not been to trial yet.

Writing about Eve Carson has always been difficult for me, whenever I try to be objective about it. Having been a Chapel Hill person for a long time, I tend to think of her as one of us. I may not have known her personally, but I knew who she was. She was the student body president of UNC. It was hard to pick up a copy of the Daily Tar Heel without being reminded of that.

But it wasn't until two years ago that I realized how much she was loved by just about everyone around here. I was walking across the UNC campus and saw so many faces in tears. I noticed everyone was moving towards The Pit. That was when the impact of what has happened really hit me for the first time, and I haven't completely recovered from it yet.

To this day I can not look at a picture of her smiling face without thinking about what has been taken from us, how much we have lost. I can still feel moisture forming in the corners of my eyes whenever I read about her. When I tried to write about her before I'd get too angry, or too bummed out to continue.

I got upset when I read some statement someone made about how it is always the pretty white female blonde victims that get all the media attention, and how unfair that is. People get murdered in Durham and Raleigh all the time, who don't get nearly as much attention. I say, hold on there, you're comparing a person who was well known and loved with people we never heard of before. It's not just looks we're talking about.

I don't think anyone would dare argue with me when I claim that Eve didn't get elected student body president on her looks. She may have turned quite a few heads, but what really made her popular was that she cared about people, and it showed. She didn't just give lip service to how much she cared, but demonstrated it in action. Her work speaks for itself.

Eve was the kind of person who would have forgiven the people who killed her a lot quicker than I ever will.

I was very surprised to read that the parents of Eve Carson are against the death penalty, considering what happened to their daughter. There was at least one survey that I know of that claimed more people in NC are in favor of the death penalty since her murder, and that people who used to be against it have changed their minds. I personally would gladly volunteer to assist in the executions if I were asked.

But when you think about the loving heart that Eve was well known for, it hardly seems fitting that we should honor her memory with such feelings of hatred.

There is now a memorial garden on the UNC campus in Chapel Hill, which was dedicated in Eve's memory today with a very nice turnout.

This does my heart good to know she will be remembered for a long time to come.

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