Two years have passed since the tragic death of YSU student Jamail Johnson.
For almost the same length of time, his mother, Shirlene Hill, was forced to endure a tumultuous legal process riddled with mishaps, poor communication from the prosecutor’s office and the murderers making a mockery of the situation by goofing around in their orange jumpsuits before Judge John Durkin entered the room.
Still, she sat there. Quiet. Resilient.
During that time, YSU has planted a memorial tree in his honor and has hosted several events aimed at stopping violence in the city.
But with everyone responsible for the crime behind bars, there’s little left to occupy the pages of newspapers.
Jamail is gone, yes, but he’s certainly not forgotten. His story lives on through us. We continue his legacy.
When tempers flared at the Indiana Avenue residence, most occupants fled. Johnson stood his ground and attempted to mediate. His peacemaking efforts ultimately cost him his life.
But his heroism that night has never been debated.
Horrendous and heartbreaking as it was, it’s the sort of thing we emulate.
We have a limited number of years, days and hours to live. Spend them wisely. Live them bravely.