Wednesday, August 3, 2005

Steven Vincent, R.I.P.

I am very sorry to hear of the murder of Steven Vincent. I met him a few times at a monthly New York writers' and editors' gathering that I used to co-host. He was an exceedingly gracious man, humble and gentle. He was highly knowledgeable about his area of expertise—red-zone Iraq—but he would converse warmly with anyone, regardless of whether they could help him or had some knowledge to share with him.

In other words, Steven was not the hardnosed reporter type, nor a status-conscious media person. He was just a down-to-earth man who genuinely cared about people.

I remember he always thanked me for inviting him to the event, with sincere gratitude. You remember people who are grateful. I'm grateful I knew Steven, and I only wish I'd had more conversation with him.

National Review Online's Kathryn Lopez has a thoughtful and informative remembrance of Steven. More remembrances are popping up on The Corner, where Lopez writes that Steven's widow asks that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to Spirit of America.

I read about how the terrorists killed Steven. It's painful to imagine. They hunted him down, shoved him into a police car, and pumped bullets through his head. The bastards.

UPDATE: I apparently had wrong information about the manner of murder. From The New York Times:

Mr. Vincent's body was found late Tuesday less than three miles north of the city center. He had been shot three times in the chest, a hospital official said, and the body was dumped in the street. His hands were tied in front with plastic wire; there were bruises on his face and right shoulder, and a strand of red tape that had apparently been used to blindfold him hung loosely around his neck.
Knowing Steven and having an inkling of the warmth that was in his heart—his pursuit of truth and his desire to help others—I'd call that a martyr's death.

Read the rest of the Times article, which tells of Steven's life and work.