I look into my camera differently today

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It was the most upsetting news I had witnessed in some time.

I found out about the tragic death of Alison Parker and Adam Ward on my way into work. I could feel my heart racing and my tears becoming harder to hold back.  

I wasn't "scared". I couldn't say that enough throughout the day. I was heart broken. 

A heaviness sat amongst the newsroom, as we stayed glued to each new detail that broke about Alison and Adam's death, during a live newscast in Virginia.

Together, my co-workers and I watched the cell phone video of that disgusting man extending and shooting his gun towards those two helpless journalists... a sight that will never leave my mind. 

Everyone in news shared the same thought in that moment, "It could have been me." 

The entire day, the tears did not stop. They came in heavy waves, mostly because I saw a lot of myself in Alison. 

She was 24 years old, loved her life, job, family. She loved hiking and seeking out new adventure. My mother said it perfectly, "for all intensive purposes Alison was a yes-girl."

I didn't know Allison or Peter personally, but even in my short time in news, I see what it takes to advance, succeed, and be well liked in this industry.

So I can say with confidence that I'm sure Alison (or Peter) never said no to a live-shot opportunity. I'm sure she never told their boss, "I'm tired, can I go home?" I can bet she never came to work thinking, "I hate my job," even on the hard days. 

But more than anything... I know she had the biggest dreams of making it to the top. We all do. 

Whether it's claiming the lead anchor spot in your hometown, becoming a part of World News Tonight, GMA, or beyond... there was a dream that died when she did. That is what leaves me breathless.

Today, I picked up my camera with a new feeling. This tool I hold every day, is the source of incredible power. 

Unfortunately, one man knew he could use that power to his disgusting and sick advantage, and it worked. His plan to cause pain and destruction succeeded. 

But that man didn't break us. He made our news community stronger.

I have always been so appreciative of my job, because I felt like I earned something. I was honored that someone thought I was worth listening to. 

Today and forever on, my appreciation turns towards every single other person in this business, who's dreams and will to work are just like the lives we lost. 

Alison and Adam, I did not know you, but I will never forget your story. 

Yes, 

Erika