American Dispatch: A Dad’s Dilemma

Navy Yard Shooting

On Monday September 16, 2013, 12 people were killed when a gunman opened fire at the Washington Navy Yard. The suspected shooter, Aaron Alexis was also killed. It was a day of fear, sadness, confusion and loss for so many.

After covering the Washington Navy Yard Shooting for a second day, FOX News Radio’s Jared Halpern wrote a letter to his five-month-old son, Daniel.

READ the letter here:

Dear Daniel,

You’re safely in your crib right now. But that will change.

One day, you’ll be old enough to ask, “Daddy, what did you do at work today?”

And one day, I won’t know how to give you answer.


One day, maybe I’ll try to explain to you about what happened just a little while after Mommy and I found out you were on your way.

A young man killed 20 boys and girls in school, one with your first name and not much older than you.

You’ll ask, “Why would he do that, daddy?” And I hope I have an answer.


Maybe, one day, you’ll ask me about the week you were born, when two brothers were so upset they hid explosives in trashcans in Boston and killed three people watching a running race and a police officer and hurt many, many others.

Perhaps you’ll ask, “Why were those brothers so mad, Daddy?” And I hope I have an answer.

Shooting Military Building

One day, in school, you may learn about the Navy Yard, in the city you were born.

The teacher may tell you about a man with a gun who went to work one morning, and shot and killed a dozen of his co-workers.

You may come home from school and ask, “Daddy, why did that man hurt his friends?” And I hope I have answer.

Daddy’s job is to ask questions and share answers.

Sometimes Daddy will use words like emotional distress, psychiatric disorders or radicalism. The explanations may help paint a clearer picture and tell a fuller story.

But, those words won’t answer your questions.

I hope, son, you are never afraid to ask questions and seek understanding in the world around you.

But sometimes, even Daddy, won’t have an answer.

LISTEN to some of Jared Halpern’s reporting on the Washington Navy Yard shooting: