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COMMENTARY : Classmates Recall Shooting Victim Ochari D'Aiello

June 28, 1992| Ochari D'Aiello, a sophomore at Polytechnic School in Pasadena, was shot to death while in Georgia for a summer program at Morehouse College. Three teen-agers have been charged with the murder. The following letters are by his classmates. and

Before this tragedy occurred, I was aware that such things went on but they did not seem real to me because I had not experienced them. My friend's death really brought it home for me.

Since then, many questions have been running through my head as to what I could do to prevent these innocent people's lives from being wasted. My friend, Ochari D'Aiello, was already a leader at age 15 and had too much to give to the world.

We are only hurting ourselves by allowing this senseless killing to continue. I cannot tell you to be for or against gun control or how to raise your children but I can, at least, try to motivate you to look around at what is going on in our communities and begin asking yourselves what you can do to make a change for the better.

We could sit around and wait for the government to act and rid our society of corruption but will this really help? It is society that needs to change and get involved.

To blame our government is much easier than to take the responsibility for society's corruption ourselves; but right now if anything significant is to be done, it is more important to start asking ourselves what we can do to improve this world we live in instead of deciding who is to blame or waiting for someone else to fix our problems.

It is up to us to instill the morals and respect that we are losing track of in our youth and others. People cannot just go around shooting others without a reason. If someone had taught those people to respect others' right to live or if they had learned the value of life, then they would not want to steal another's life.

So, please, do not ignore the problems that are polluting our society since we are the ones who can make a change.

Before Ochari's death, I thought that this senseless killing would not affect me so I did not act or do anything to prevent it from happening.

I read in the newspaper that every day eight people die in the United States as a result of gunshots. I urge you to act now before another eight are killed tomorrow.

JULIA BRYSON

South Pasadena

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