Lockheed Tragedy Remembered

On July 8, 2003, Lockheed Martin employee, Doug Williams, killed five co-workers and injured at least eight others before killing himself.

To mark the day, Mission Meridian is planning a number of events including a memorial service.

"We're going to have testimonials from each of the family members and we're going to have a lighting of the candles," said Mission Meridian director, Charlotte Scott. "And then they'll give a testimony and tell the community how God's grace has brought them through the last year."

At 9:00 a.m. Thursday, a carousel horse will be unveiled at the Mission Meridian office, 900 Constitution Avenue, in honor of the late Rev. Charles Miller, who died in the rampage.

A reception will be held at 10:00 a.m. at Meridian's Union Station on Front Street for the victims' families and co-workers.

The memorial service will be at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 1116 23rd Avenue, Thursday at 12 noon.

Lockheed officials say the company will mark the day with a private, in-house service for workers.

Meanwhile, the families of victims continue trying to recover from the loss of and injury to loved ones. The family of the late Rev. Charles Miller, who died in the tragedy, is working to ensure that their loved one's legacy lives on.

Since that terrible day, Miller's wife of 36 years, Jinnell, says readjusting has been difficult but not impossible.

"It's like every morning I get up and during the day I face a big wall. And I have to decide whether I'm going to try to maneuver around that big wall, go over it or try to go under it," said Jinnell Fox Miller. "But I make that conscious decision to go through it. So, I walk in the direction of that big wall and every time it dissipates."

Miller said she has now even reached the point of forgiveness.

"Because if we don't, it's going to tear us down. So, in order for us to be able to make it and stay focused, we have to choose to let go of all those negative feelings and replace them with positive ones," Miller said.

A day before the shootings, a close relative of the Miller family went into distressful labor, about a month early from her due date. When Rev. Miller was pronounced dead, the relative's baby was born.
Coincidence? Perhaps....but that's not all. A few weeks prior to this, family members had picked out a name for the baby which they say means, "messenger." The child was named Gabriel.

"I think it's showing that God is still in control," said Miller. "Let this not be just a moment of sadness and grief, but let's find ways of celebrating the lives of those who so willingly gave them in this terrible tragedy. Let's move forward with hope."