By Donald Eliason (firstname.lastname@example.org)
and Daniel Falconer (email@example.com)
I never knew Matt personally, but I knew him for what he was and what he wanted to be. I knew what he wanted to accomplish in his life. When I first heard about what happened, I felt all the things that most other people felt: anger, rage, sadness, confusion, and loss. It was a loss to me because he seemed to be a good person with only good intentions in his heart and in his mind. He was someone who was willing to fight for himself and others. But most importantly, he was willing to fight for those who could not or would not fight for themselves. He was a leader that was going to go all the way, and he still can if his memory is not lost, and his battle still fought.
Matt was willing to stand up for all of us who are living in the same world, and about to fight in the same battle. He and people like him can only be compared to greats like Dr. Martin Luther King, Ghandi, and Nelson Mandela. These are just a few examples of normal, every-day people who took up arms in the battle against ignorance to ensure that future generations would have the basic human rights that every person should be guaranteed from birth. Like these men, I think Matt was trying to teach people that there is only one race, and that's mankind. What they fight is an illness called prejudice. It's a form of ignorance and its faces are racism, hate, discrimination, and violence. I pity those infected with this illness because the only cure comes from within.
It is our job to recognize this ideology as an illness and treat it as such . This illness destroys lives as savagely as AIDS, Cancer, and Multiple Sclerosis. We as a society are getting better, but we are a long way from cured. It will take a society of educators to cure the diseased among us.
This uncultured aspect of our society lives in a world of blindness, unable to see the true beauties of the world around it. If we all tried just a little to educate society, we can help destroy this illness. In doing so, we would truly honor Matt and all those others who have made and continue to make sacrifices for this cause.