When I woke up this morning there was a lump in my throat and I know I'll be fighting back tears all day. On the night of April 19, 1997 I was making final preparations for my annual group trip to Orlando, Florida. My wife was packing for our young family and I had just returned from my office with my 5 year old son Matt. It was a comfortable night. The bedroom windows were open at our townhouse in Hamburg. My wife and I heard the gun shots. Then silence. We thought it might be firecrackers or maybe even a hunter. We left early the next morning for Orlando with 12 other families on our annual WSUS trip looking forward to 5 days at Disney. The next morning when I called to report on our trip for the WSUS morning show I was informed about the terrible tragedy. George and Jeremy were two hard working young men who were my friends. I wrote and produced the radio commercials for Tony's Pizza and I was a regular customer. Only a few days before the murders, I saw George when I picked pizza for my family. As I was leaving Jeremy held the door and with a big smile wished me a good night. What happened 20 years ago was unthinkable. The next day the story of the murders had reached Orlando. One morning show there was actually joking about it. I pulled off the road and called. The hosts of the show were shocked a radio host from Franklin, New Jersey was actually in Orlando. I went on their show live for 20 minutes from a phone booth just outside of Disney. I told them about what fine young men my friends George and Jeremy were. It wasn't funny to them anymore. We returned from Orlando too late to go to the funerals for George or Jeremy. George's family continues to run Tony's Pizza in his memory. I still go there for pizza often. Jeremy's mom and dad were part of the church family at Stockholm United Methodist Church. Loretta sang in the choir. I attended services there for several years. The First Baptist Church in Sussex will hold a "Legacy of Hope" service in memory of Jeremy tonight. While other people in the media quote from court papers and show old pictures. I remember two polite hard working young men and their parents and sisters who loved them so much. Angelo, Connie, Joe and Loretta my heart aches for you today. Over the past 20 years you have shown all of us what is means to be strong, have faith and love.
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