Tired of all those weddings?
Lots of folks are, and perhaps understandably, at this point in the nuptial season. There is all the hype and commercialism, not to mention the fact that the focus on the “big day” can make it seem as though many couples are just ticking off sacramental boxes in order to get the church wedding of their dreams.
Well, here’s an antidote for all of that, I promise. Michael Kelly writes in last week’s New York Times about his own daughter’s wedding — a decade after Bridget Kelly was nearly murdered:
Bridget started her teaching career at Fort Hood, the Army post next to Killeen, Tex. On June 21, 2002, after she picked up a friend from a late flight and dropped her off, Bridget returned to her apartment.
A man who had lurked in the parking lot kicked down her door, abducted and robbed her, and drove her to a secluded field. He raped her, shot her in the back three times and drove off.
She had terrible internal wounds (and would need a colostomy bag all summer), but her legs worked. She somehow made it 200 yards to the home of her first hero that night. Frank James, an Army veteran, called 911 after recognizing the gunshot wounds, covered her with a blanket and comforted her until rescuers arrived. Her life was saved in six hours of surgery at the Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center at Fort Hood.
The crime and Bridget’s story, first reported in The Omaha World-Herald and The Killeen Daily Herald, soon drew wider interest because she wanted the rape to be reported in the articles with her name as the victim. At the request of the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault, she returned to the field where she was attacked and made a video that was shown statewide as part of a public awareness campaign. Her message — that she had done nothing wrong and bore no stigma or shame — resonated with many.
And it led to a beautiful love story, that culminated in a marriage, and a fine piece of writing by her father, a columnist at The Omaha World-Herald. Who need a toast when you have this?