Finding our soul in the wake of a soulless act: Where does Chattanooga go from here?

879720925d315dd1bee002fccd596b5963021_largeIn the coming days and weeks, counterterrorism investigators, the FBI and other federal law enforcement officials will attempt to figure out what Chattanoogans and millions of others across the globe want to know: Why did Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez go on a shooting rampage that killed five U.S. service members?

Was he a Muslim extremist or simply a troubled young man? Was he battling depression or engaged in a holy war? What happened, exactly, during his time in Jordan last year? Did he go there, as his parents claim, to get clean and get away from some questionable friends, or was there a more nefarious reason for his trip? Was his attack inevitable, or was there anything we could have done to prevent it?

These are important questions all deserving of answers, answers that will come slowly.

Regardless of the answers, however, what ultimately matters is how this unfathomable tragedy will shape our city going forward. What matters now is what we do in response.

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