Why did America Forgot the 2009 Binghamton American Civic Association Massacre.

I will be the first to admit that the outrage and anger of Americans killing Americans in America in so many massacres is somehow less than it should be in me. Maybe it is a sign of age where one realizes that they cannot totally fix everything that is wrong with the world, let along what needs to be improved within oneself. Maybe it is a sign of simple denial, rationalization, and justification of things just to survive and continue to go on and function in one’s life.

Awaken folks, Americans are killing other innocent Americans—I challenge you to think about that for a while at least long enough to cry, man or women. Yes, we remember and honor the dead. We focus on and celebrate what they lived for. But sadly and disrespectfully we go on living, just trying to survive and enjoy our lifetime the best we can. We have not gotten to the root of the problem to solve it and make it go away.

The American Civic Association Mass Killing happened ten years ago in my hometown of Binghamton, New York. Thirteen innocent people were senselessly killed. One of them, Bobbie King, a mother of thirteen, I knew in high school. She was a bright light in my life, always smiling, always energetic to engage and help others. The Kings (not all 15 of them) came to my graduation party on the other side of town. They were good people who knew good people with no assumptions or exceptions made. Bobbie’s husband was a doctor who helped people. The King children are their legacy and a gift, as their parents were, to America!

There is no comparison to be made of mass shootings, even one person murdered is bad enough.

I will be the first to admit that I don’t know what the answer is. For me personally, it is to try to live my life with compassion, love, and mercy inwardly and outwardly. Somehow we have to connect as spiritual beings, first inwardly, and always outwardly. We all need to learn how to get along just like Binghamton, Johnson City, and Endicott—the Triple Cities on the Southern Tier of New York State—did in the early 20th Century. All types of immigrants came from all parts of Europe to mine coal, make shoes, and record time—as in the International Time Recording Company—the start of IBM, computers, the internet, and what you are holding in your hand right now.  

That’s why America needs to remember and then realize why she forgot the 2009 American Civic Association Massacre.

Parveen Ali from Pakistan, Almir Olimpio Alves from Brazil, Maria Sonia Bernard & Marc Henry Bernard from Haiti, Li Guo, from China, Lan Ho from Vietnam, Layla Khalil from Iraq, Roberta (Bobbie) King, the English language teacher, from Binghamton, Jiang Ling from China, Hong Xiu “Amy” Mao Marsland from China, Dolores Yigal from the Philippines, Hai Hong Zhong from China, and Ukrainian Maria Zobniw from nearby Town of Dickinson—thirteen precious, innocent, and loving souls. Their Free Spirits now fly high above their Memorial at the corner of Clinton & Front Streets in Binghamton just down the street from the American Civic Association whose motto is “Because Freedom Can’t Protect Itself.”

They are America! Americans or immigrants on their way to becoming Americans! “These are the people you want in this country” is a quote from a neighbor in the local Binghamton newspaper at the time of the tragedy…

Most of us, or our ancestors, came from someplace other than these United States.

Has America forgotten who America is? Let’s all remember how we got here and celebrate our great democracy and make it better by remembering the Binghamton ACA Mass Shooting and understanding why it has been forgotten.

I came across a great quote for the 2005 book “The Approach; A New Leadership Presence WE Desperately need in Corporate America Today.” It was from the Scottish historian Alexander Tyler and is dated around 1787 near the beginning of the Industrial Revolution were the bondage of coal workers was being questioned:

“The average age of the world’s greatest civilization has been 200 years. Those nations have progressed through this sequence: from bondage to spiritual faith to great courage; from courage to liberty; from liberty to abundance; from abundance to complacency; from complacency to apathy; from apathy to dependence; and from dependence back into bondage.”

Where is America on this continuum?

Where are you on your life’s journey?

Have all our wants turned into needs. How have our expectations of the good life changed? Where does it all end?

Has America forgotten her immigrants and why?

What have you forgotten inside? Why?

I believe the greatest years of Binghamton & the Triple Cities and all of America are ahead of us!

“Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”—Philippians 3:13-14.

We need to reach forward together…

I think it is time now for us and America to remember what we forgot.

Our heart, our past, and our future is in our democracy which is spirited by our immigrants and future citizens.

The valleys of the Chenango River and the Susquehanna River are the historic backbone and namesake of the Triple Cities area—once proudly known as ‘The Valley of Opportunity.’

Behind that economic opportunity and success was a spirituality of open mindedness and open heartedness; of knowing what the right thing to do was and then simply doing it.

Let’s all remember the innocent victims of all Mass Shootings and enter into a ‘New Valley of Spiritual Growth’ and solve our brokenness, inwardly and outwardly.


With love and compassion, for this I pray. Also for Mrs. King and all thirteen of the innocent victims; that America now remembers Binghamton American Civic Association Mass Shooting.




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