community mourns for melody ross

Here's another sad story on the outpouring of community grief -- both from strangers and loved ones -- following the death of 16-year-old Melody Ross, the Long Beach teen who was killed when an alleged gang member fired into a crowd after a high school football game: Melody Ross touches the world.
Within seconds her beckoning smile was stilled, 16 years and a month after her birth, and that could have been the end of it. But the grief of family and close friends rippled outward last week, unexpected, unforeseen.

In a matter of days, there were candlelight vigils and bake sales to help with the funeral. Songs and raps were written, filmed and sent out to the world, in her honor, via the Internet. Thousands of friends and strangers, kids and parents poured their emotions out to her on a memorial Web page, talking to her as if she were reading their words. Black shirts were worn in her honor in Long Beach. And in Washington. And Pennsylvania. And Canada.

It was not that she was elite, or a superstar, or necessarily headed for international greatness. It was just that she was a normal kid -- friendly, embracing, kind, close to her family, a permanent smile on her face. It was just that her life was not long enough. But it was long enough to matter.
A senseless shooting. A life cut short. And suddenly, she's gone. More here: Stunned Wilson High students grieve for slain classmate. And here: Melody Ross' family, friends mourn at Wilson High ceremony.

Meanwhile, two 16-year-old were charged as adults for the shooting because of the "seriousness of the crime": DA: 'Seriousness of crime' justified charging teens as adults in killing of Long Beach honors student.

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