May 29, 2015 is the day my family lost our beautiful boy; the infamous day when promising potential was taken from the world. There is no word for a parent who loses a child. The weight of the pain is ineffable. When you lose a loved one to gun violence, trauma reverberates throughout all of society with cascading destruction.
Frank Gaines Whitington was taken at the violent hands of others—taken less than two weeks from graduating from Memphis University School, just before his 19th birthday. He was a martyr to Memphis gun violence in a carjacking robbery-homicide by young gang members.
Gaines was a superlative of his senior class and a man for all seasons. He had plans to work in the astronautical engineering field after university. He lived a full life of travel and experience, affecting many friends and family positively. He remains in so many fond, cherished memories.
Bereaved families experience further trauma through a criminal justice system in need of full reform. We work towards that end and the demand for common-sense gun laws. The one perpetrator held to justice was out on bail on the streets with an illegal gun.