Ella Schulte, News Writer

I am surrounded by a society who neglects to count heartbeats as a sign of being, who is numb to the number of school shootings and mass killings, and used to benefit concerts, violent protests, and endless marches.

Life has become disposable, an inconvenience, degraded to a political argument or temporary commodity, but life is not a choice, nor a trigger one pulls, or pill one takes.

Of course, anyone could argue that life can be unplanned, unexpected, and even unwanted, but never should it be considered any less valuable.

It’s easy to ignore these horrific happenings and feel unmoved by them when the consequences don’t directly affect every individual across the globe, but how many more are needed before one hardens not their heart?

I pick a forget-me-not for the unborn baby, the grieving parents who just lost their child to the careless actions of a school shooter, and the unimaginable amount of loss Molly Tibbetts’ family must feel and all those alike whose stories don’t reach the public.

I pick a forget-me-not for the wife and mother of three, who was killed by the unfathomable decision of a drunk driver to cross the center line on a Tuesday, the 49 individuals killed at an Orlando nightclub, the soldier blown to pieces thousands of miles away from his family, and the 2,996 lives lost on September 11, 2001.

So, I assemble a bundle of wilting, delicate, and flawed forget-me-nots, and when asked what kind of cake he would have had on his first birthday, or on her wedding day, one will try to think of an answer, but simply cannot. For these deserving souls, once destined for greatness, are forever frozen in time, clouded by painful memories and never allowed a second chance for their hearts to beat. These are the forget-me-nots. Gone, but never forgotten.