Slain TV Journalists Remembered at Memorial Service

31 Aug 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Father of Virginia reporter shot on air reaffirms push for gun control.

ROANOKE, Va. (AP) — Community religious leaders gathered Sunday to remember 24-year-old reporter Alison Parker and 27-year-old cameraman Adam Ward, the two television journalists who were shot and killed while working last week.

Andy Parker, the father of the news reporter who was shot dead with her cameraman live on air in Virginia on Wednesday, on Sunday vowed again to succeed in his push for gun control legislation, saying: “They messed with the wrong family.” Alison Parker, 24, and Adam Ward, 27, worked for WDBJ7, a Virginia station. The interfaith service at the Jefferson Center in Roanoke was filled with somber prayers across several religions, along with music from the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra and others.

The ceremony, attended by about 500 people according to Christie Wills, a spokeswoman for the interfaith group that organized the event, began with a slideshow of the WDBJ-TV journalists wearing warm smiles as they worked as a tag-team on stories. Her many accomplishments included Piedmont District Swimmer of the Year award, Big M Trophy recipient, and a member of the jazz and concert bands where she played both trumpet and French horn.

Marks said he suspected that the most you would get out of Parker was an “emphatic ‘darn,” and then she would be back hard at work. “Mental illness cannot exist on the periphery of health care,” Marks said. “It should be obvious that it needs to be center stage because most mental illness is treatable if we can get to the sufferer. On CNN on Sunday, Parker said he and his daughter’s boyfriend, Chris Hurst, wanted to lead a concerted push for reform on issues including basic background checks on all gun purchases, and cited offers of support from gun control activists and groups. “I have been in contact with Mark Kelly, who is Gabby Giffords’ husband, who was very gracious to reach out to me,” he said. “And we’re going to get together in Washington.

In this case, we didn’t.” Ward and Parker were on an early morning assignment for WDBJ-TV at Smith Mountain Lake when Vester Lee Flanagan walked up and shot them and Vicki Gardner, a Chamber of Commerce official, with a 9mm Glock pistol during a live interview. Senator [Mark] Warner has also, you know, told me: ‘Whatever we can do to help and facilitate that, let me know.’ Mayor [Michael] Bloomberg’s people have reached out.” Parker added: “You always think there’s a tipping point. We always thought that when Gabby was shot, something would happen; with Sandy Hook, something would happen; with Aurora, something would happen, and it never did.” Parker’s rhetorical approach echoed that of Senator Bernie Sanders, the independent Vermont senator who had appeared on the programme in the preceding interview to repeat his message against the “same old, same old” procession of politics in Washington. “He said, and it applied to another matter, ‘same old, same old’ doesn’t work, and it applies to this issue.

She graduated from JMU in 2012 and joined the news team at WCTI12 in North Carolina as the Jacksonville bureau chief, covering Camp Lejeune and the surrounding area, where she relished the tough schedule and hard news. Controlling the loopholes in gun shows, doing those kind of things.” Sanders has been criticised by other candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination for allegedly being relatively lax on gun control.

Alison was recruited to return to WDBJ7 in Roanoke as the Mornin’ Reporter last year, and she greeted viewers each weekday morning with a smile and her bubbly personality, hoping to make their day a little brighter. She was rehearsing to be a contestant in the Valley Stars benefit for the Salvation Army of Roanoke Turning Point, the only secure center in the Roanoke Valley for adult survivors and their children who are in imminent danger from family and intimate partner violence. Airy, NC; grandmothers Frances Bailey of Denison, TX and Gloria Parker of Austin, TX; aunts Lisa Foster of Sherman, TX, Kristin Bailey Murphy of Hollywood, CA, and Jane Ann Parker of Austin, TX; and cousins Kristin and Caitlin Miller of Dallas, TX, Meredith Foster of Georgetown, TX, and Jonas and Makenna Parker of Austin, TX; and countless special friends like Sasha, Katie, and Georgina. In lieu of flowers the family asks that donations be made to the following scholarship funds or charitable organizations: Donations for the Alison B Parker Memorial Fund can be made online at the link above or checks for the Alison Parker Memorial Scholarship can be made payable to the JMU Foundation. From childhood, he loved Salem sports, especially football, and joined his father, a guidance counselor at Salem High School, as a 7th grader in the school system.

While at Tech, he discovered a passion for journalism and interned on the Greg Roberts Radio Show and at WDBJ-7, which eventually led to a full-time role post-graduation. He is survived by his loving father and mother, Buddy and Mary Ward; sister and brother-in-law, Sarah and Dave Crowder; brother, Jay Ward; fiancé, Melissa Ott; and niece, Olivia, or “tater tot” as her uncle Adam affectionately called her. A celebration of Adam’s life will be held 11:00 AM, Tuesday, September 1 at First Baptist Church in Roanoke, 515 3rd Street SW, Roanoke with Pastor Rob Lough officiating.

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