In 1986, Elie Wiesel gave his Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance Speech. The depths of his words never reached me until one night some 23 years later. It came in the form of a Facebook post from a person that my admiration has since grown exponentially. Since the day Ryan was brutally beaten, it seems like I met many such people.
A WVU professor, Daniel Brewster, shared the words from this speech that stir me to this day. I not only can relate, in some ways I feel this surely must have been written for me, because it is better than anything I could ever write or say. It was a speech given to the world, for the world, and about the world, that interlaced the individual and humanity. I imagine myself speaking of Ryan. This inspires me to keep Ryan relevant. To never let people forget.
West Virginia State Parole Board
1409 Greenbrier Street
Charleston, WV 23511-0700
Dear Sir or Madam:
Please deny parole for Austin Vantrease, based on the violent nature of his crime. He kicked a defenseless man in the head, lying unconscious on the ground, with such force it was described as “like punting a football”. Instead of offering aid or requesting medical response, Austin Vantrease ran away and hid from the obvious life-threatening damage he caused. He was hoping not to be found accountable. His lack of remorse and retribution makes him a continued risk to the safety of the public and the Diviney family.