Kentuckians gathered in Louisville to honor the courage, commitment and integrity of Dr. George Tiller. A native of Kansas, Dr. Tiller served in the United States Navy, before returning to Wichita to take over his father's medical practice after both his parents, his sister and brother-in-law were killed in an accident. Knowing that women were dying of illegal abortions, Dr. Tiller resolved to provide the best and most complete legal reproductive services to his patients. Because of this decision, Dr. Tiller was harassed, demonized, sued, and shot, twice seriously, and, on May 31st, fatally.
Like Dr. David Gunn, a native of Kentucky, Dr. Tiller met a violent death by assassination because of his commitment to the full range of legal options protecting women's health. Dr. Gunn was the first women's health care provider to be assassinated by a violent extremist in 1993. He was shot three times in the back as he entered an abortion clinic in Pensacola, Florida. As his son stated in his biographical profile of his father, Dr. Gunn was committed to providing health care needs to all of his patients without judgment.
So Kentuckians gathered to honor Dr. Tiller and remember Dr. Gunn and give thanks for all the courageous caregivers who are serving women in the face of violent extremism by our own citizens here in the U.S. We gathered to comfort each other and to speak out loudly and clearly against the terroristic tactics of these extremists in our midst. We gathered to support peace and justice for all people. We invited all who share a commitment to peace and justice to join us. And we say to those who do not care for peace and justice, that we are here to stay and violence won't scare us away. We gathered to say stop the violence now and start the peace and understanding.