Fort Hood Sentinel
Standing watch over Fort Hood since 1942
MONDAY, OCTOBER 20, 2014  06:19:01 AM

Never Forgotten. Community feels relief in wake of Hasan sentencing

Email   Print   Share By Erin Rogers, Sentinel Staff
September 5, 2013 | News
View Larger Image
The memorial dedicated to the Nov. 5, 2009 shooting victims stands in Fort Hood’s Memorial Park across from III Corps Headquarters. (Photo by Erin Rogers, Sentinel Staff)
View Larger Image
Family members address members of the media Aug. 28 following the announcement of a death sentence for Nidal Hasan. (Photo by Pfc. Erik Warren, 3rd Cav. Public Affairs)
View Larger Image
A makeshift memorial adorns the fence surrounding the crime scene, where 13 people were killed and more than 30 others wounded by then-Maj. Nidal Hasan Nov. 5, 2009. In the nearly four years since the attack, hundreds of mementos have been placed along this fence line outside the Soldier Readiness Processing Center. (Photo by Sgt. Ken Scar, 7th MPAD)
With the court martial of U.S. v. Maj. Nidal Hasan ending in a death sentence Aug. 28 after nearly four weeks of legal proceedings, the overarching feelings among Fort Hood community members are those of agreement with the panel’s decision of a death sentence and relief at the conclusion of the court martial.

The death sentence was one the government pushed for, especially during government lead counsel Col. Michael Mulligan’s closing argument prior to the panel’s deliberation of sentence.

“You cannot offer what you don’t own; you cannot give away what is not yours. He can never be a martyr because he has nothing to give … Do not be misled; do not be confused; do not be fooled. He is not giving his life. We are taking his life. This is not his gift to God, it’s his debt to society. He will not now and will not ever be a martyr. He is a criminal, a cold-blooded murderer. On 5 November he did not leave this earth, he remained to pay a price. To pay a debt. The debt he owes is his life,” Mulligan told members of the panel during closing arguments Aug. 28.

Community members seemed just as passionate about the sentencing.

“This guy is obviously guilty, we all knew it from the beginning, from day one,” said Dale Pierce, a retired Soldier and Fort Hood community member.

Pierce is also a friend and former coworker of Michael Cahill, a retired chief warrant officer 2 and one of the victims of the Nov. 5, 2009 massacre at the Soldier Readiness Processing Center.

“Cahill was the guy I’d always go see for sick call back when we were both in the Army. He was such a wonderful guy – didn’t deserve what Hasan did to him, none of them did. Hasan deserves this sentence,” Pierce said, adding that he hopes this death sentence will be an example and discourage others from trying anything like this ever again.

A few community members said the biggest disappointment out of this whole trial for them, is that the massacre is still classified as workplace violence, and not as an act of terrorism.

“Our legislators need to change Hasan’s attack to a terrorist attack, it wasn’t just workplace violence. I’m happy with the outcome of the death sentence, but very unhappy that the attack is still considered workplace violence,” John Adair, a retired Soldier at Fort Hood, said. “He went against the people he swore an oath to protect, during a time of war, that’s treason. He is a terrorist.”

Jake Marshall, a Fort Hood civilian employee, agreed with Adair’s thoughts about the workplace violence classification, but has an indifferent feeling toward the death sentence, saying it is in justice’s hands.

“The justice system is what it is, whether we disagree with it or not, so the sentencing is appropriate according to justice. But it was a terrorist act, not workplace violence,” Marshall said. “I’m really not happier or sadder about the death sentence for him, it is what it is; but I am mad about the attack being classified as workplace violence – that isn’t right.”

The most common feeling among the community members has to do with the survivors and Families of the victims of Nov. 5, 2009, wanting them to have peace now that the trial is over.

“The most important thing now is that those survivors and Family members will finally have some sort of closure after almost four years,” said Meagan Caton, Fort Hood Army spouse, while Larry Banken of Fort Hood had a stronger opinion on the subject.

“He deserves the death penalty, though it would be even worse to make him suffer for life in prison. He needs to suffer like he made the victims and Families suffer,” Banken said.

Mostly, the community members want the Families and survivors to know they are being thought of, said Roy Reynolds of Fort Hood, a retired Soldier. “The sentence being passed will bring great closure to grieving people, hopefully, and even greater closure when the sentence is actually carried out,” Reynolds said. “All the people who’ve suffered should know they’re not alone.

“And they should know,” he added, “we think of them daily.”
 
Related Articles
  • No related articles found.
 
Popular News Articles
 
Subscribe     Fort Hood Sentinel, www.forthoodsentinel.com    RSS Feeds
Site maintained by the Temple Daily Telegram, www.tdtnews.com