Thursday, June 3, 2010

Everyone deserves justice

I first met Katie Granju when she designed the blog for the company I work for. She was (and is) friendly, helpful and creative in all her ideas for what would bring our blog to fruition. She wrote the first pieces for the blog and then handed it over to me to continue to update. Her guidance, confidence and support are what has helped me keep the blog going. After the blog project was finished I would see Katie at Knoxville Social Media Association Events and she would introduce me to new people and make time to chat even though she had a million things going on. I know she tried to do that with everyone, that is the type of person she is, friendly, motherly and outgoing. Something I really appreciated.

Which is why I've been trying to think of the right thing to say about the horrible death of my friend Katie's son Henry for awhile now (for background on what happened to Henry visit Katie's blog As a mom I can't imagine losing my child and how I would go on afterwords. How do you get up in the morning and move forward? I'm sure it helps if you have other children, they would keep you busy and need attention, and I am sure other family members would be helpful too. Parents aren't supposed to outlive their children and now that I have a child I can certainly see why. When I saw that Katie's son Henry had died my heart stopped and my stomach dropped, I can't begin to imagine what she felt or what their family is going through right now. Especially in the wake of everything that happened to Henry prior to his death. What makes this all the more difficult is that the Knoxville Police Department seem to have not made much headway in talking to who brutally attacked Henry . Henry's family has been doing quite a bit of investigative work and has provided the police department with names of witnesses and other details to assist in the investigation. As Katie points out her her blog:
Yes, my teenage son had a serious drug problem. He was involved in high-risk activities with clearly dangerous people. In no way do we minimize or make excuses for that fact. However, that didn’t give others the right to kill an 18 year old boy who was a much loved son and big brother to three younger siblings, who are devastated. Henry could have recovered from his addictions and gone on to lead a full life as a wonderful, contributing citizen. He was only eighteen years old. Now he will never have that chance.

His family realizes he had a serious drug problem, I think everyone that reads this story should realize that, but it doesn't mean that those responsible for his death shouldn't be held accountable. That's like saying the homeless man that gets beat to death by a bunch of teenagers deserves it or he should have expected it because he was homeless. I would think people would feel outrage for what happened to Henry, I know I do.

So what can you do? Henry's family has asked that you comment on news stories, contact the Knox County Sheriffs Office and the Knox County DA's Office and express your concern about how this case is being handled.

If you would like to help the family, they are starting what they hope will become a permanent, endowed fund that will provide scholarships for families who cannot afford to pay for needed drug and alcohol treatment programs for their children. In lieu of flowers, we ask that you remember our boy and his struggles by considering a donation to:

The Henry Louis Granju Memorial Scholarship Fund
c/o Administrator: James Anderson
Morgan Stanley Smith Barney
2000 Meridian Blvd.
Suite 290
Franklin, TN 37067

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