Soon, we will start to write about football again. Auburn players and coaches will start to think again about a season that rushes ever closer. We will all smile again.
Senior Editor Phillip Marshall
Soon. But not today.
Today, we still want to scream. Today, we still want to understand why three men so young, boys really, were taken from us, why another fights for his life in a Birmingham hospital. But we don't understand. We never will understand.
There's some relief in hearing that Desmonte Leonard, the young man accused of opening fire at a party at an Auburn apartment complex last Saturday, is in police custody. But the pain that the families of the victims feel, a university and a community feel, can't be eased so simply.
We can be proud that there are those among us who have stood tallest in the worst of times.
We can be proud of Auburn Police Chief Tommy Dawson, who has been a strong, calm and reassuring presence since last Saturday night.
We can be proud of Auburn football coach Gene Chizik, who met reporters on Tuesday and put things into perspective in a way perhaps not all football coaches could do.
We can be proud of the Auburn football players - and, no doubt, others - who put themselves in the line of fire on Saturday in an attempt to help others.
We can be proud of all those from so many places across the Southeast and beyond who offered condolences and prayers.
But we can't be happy. Not yet. It's all still too fresh, too raw.
Five families will never be the same. Three lost young men with their lives still to be lived were lost. A mother sits today with her son at UAB Hospital. Another mother was left with the terrible duty of convincing her son to give himself up, probably never to see him free again.
Yes, there will be a time to talk about football again, to wonder who will be the quarterback, how Auburn will do against Clemson.
Soon. But no today.