There were nine.
A pilot, a husband and wife and their daughter, a father and child, a mother and child, and a young female basketball coach.
"NBA Legend Kobe Bryant Killed in Helicopter Crash" was the first headline sent around the world in the early hours of last week's helicopter crash in California. Soon after, it was learned that the former Los Angeles Lakers star's 13-year old daughter was also killed. A tragic outcome for a father and his child. "NBA Legend Kobe Bryant and his Daughter Killed in Helicopter Crash"
"... and there were seven others."
Tagged onto the end of many news accounts were those words.
Still this week, "Kobe crash" and coverage of memorials to the basketball star fill the news cycle. Basketball fans around the world have been seen with tears in their eyes as they explain the former player's point tallies and his contributions to the sport and their own lives. He was an icon and his death deserves the recognition ... as does the deaths of "the seven others."
This was a tragic crash. A tragic loss of life — all life — aboard a doomed aircraft.
This isn't to say that Kobe Bryant doesn't deserve the attention — of course he does ... as does the loss of his daughter. But those other people who were apparently in Kobe Bryant's life that fateful day deserve more than simply being "the seven others." With no disrespect to anyone killed that day, it simply seems right to draw more attention to everyone killed that day.
#and7others isn't to diminish the loss of a basketball legend and his daughter, it's to remember everyone whose lives were shattered that day. And perhaps, in this world of fast-news and celebrity focus, to help people remember everyone who may not be in the direct spotlights of life — but deserve recognition, remembrance and respect.