When the books are closed on this trial and it fades from the front page of the local news outlet, some will remember. When the jury has been dismissed and goes back to their regular lives, some will remember. When sentences are passed and served and the clock and calendar move on to whatever comes next, some will remember. I’d like to think I will be one of those. I know Tina Anderson, her husband, her brother, and some close supporters will definitely remember.
Our justice system, however flawed or wonderful you may believe it to be, is what we have. In the midst of this are a group of normal citizens much like you or I. There job is not to memorialize this trial. It’s just to weigh the evidence they have heard and return a decision. The attorneys, whether you like them, hate them, or are indifferent have done their jobs. What we need now is for those men and women to do their duty. And, in the course of doing that, I hope they will remember, if only briefly.
I hope they can remember Tina’s brave composure when those who she was supposed to trust attacked her. I hope they can remember the arrogance of Chuck Phelps as he “preached” directly to them, trying apparently to save his own neck. I hope they can remember Christine Leaf and her almost petulant attitude about her own daughter. And I hope, above all, they remember that Ernie Willis was a predator taking advantage of a teenage girl.
There is One other who has seen it all and definitely remembers. Tina has expressed, repeatedly, her faith in God. She’s not out for the money and certainly not for the fame or notoriety. I can’t imagine any sane person choosing to pursue fame in this way. Yet, where others may have given up in despair, Tina has bravely taken the stand and given her recollection of events I know I would have blocked out had they happened to me. Through it all, she continues to place her trust in God.
Whatever verdict the jury returns, and whether it comes out today, tomorrow, or next week, I challenge you to remember. Remember Tina, speaking out so others might have the courage to do so. The restored life of a young boy or girl just might depend on it at some point.