Kansas City is a Resilient City

February 20, 2024

Last week, Kansas City experienced an unthinkable tragedy. Hundreds of thousands of Chiefs fans had descended on downtown Kansas City to celebrate the Chiefs recent Super Bowl victory. But that joyous celebration ended in gunfire and now countless families are grieving and the city is collectively trying to process why this happened and how we move forward.

Our hearts are with the families of all of the victims, but especially the family of Lisa Lopez-Galvan, a wife, mother of two and beloved local DJ who was tragically killed in this shooting. No family should have to live the reality of sending a loved one to an event like this and not have them return home.

So many people across Kansas City are hurting right now – some who attended the parade and rally, others who knew and loved the victims, and countless others who watched the events unfold on TV or heard about it after the fact. Regardless of where you were when this tragedy occurred, this event has been traumatic. When mass shootings or other instances of community violence occur anywhere, it can rattle our sense of safety. But that feeling is magnified when these things happen right in our backyard.

Right now, it is important to remember that it is normal to feel anger, sadness, grief, fear and a host of other difficult emotions. Give yourself the grace and space to experience those emotions. You are not expected to be okay right now. But you are not alone. If you are struggling, talk to people you trust about how you’re feeling. If it would be helpful, reach out to a mental health professional. There are additional printable resources available for both children and adults.

It is important to remember that we are resilient, and we will find a way forward together. I find strength in the words of Mister Rogers about any crisis. “Look for the helpers. There are always helpers”. And it is true. From Chiefs players to strangers who chased down one of the shooters, in the moments during the shooting and beyond, people have reached out to support others. And in days of uncertainty and angst, we can all be helpers to each other. It is in our nature.