Father of Daniel Parmenter: We also grieve for families of other mass shooting victims

  • Daniel Parmenter

    Daniel Parmenter

By Gary Parmenter
Straight from the Source
Updated 2/11/2018 4:34 PM
Editor’s note: Daniel Parmenter, Gary’s son, was one of five people killed Feb. 14, 2008, at NIU. The 20-year-old sophomore from Westchester was in class with his girlfriend when a gunman began firing. He tried to comfort and protect her until both were shot. Daniel was killed; the woman survived.

NIU was very supportive to our family in more ways than I can count, month after month. They provided support people for assistance thereafter and held memorial events on anniversaries. I continued attending The Compassionate Friends, Bereaved Parents of the USA and Grief Share support groups for several years to help dozens of other parents who had lost their children without anyone to turn to for support, as NIU had supported us.

We are comforted by the blessings occurring to remember Daniel. Thank you to everyone for the hundreds of donations sent to NIU, plus separate gifts we received to initiate scholarship funds. At the Forward, Together Forward Scholarship award ceremony, five students each year receive one-year scholarships. They are honored to be selected and pledge to be exemplary models of the fallen students their scholarship represents.


Our family received separate donations with which we formed the Dan Parmenter Memorial Endowed Scholarship in the College of Business, which awards a student scholarship annually. The School of Journalism initiated a Dan Parmenter Memorial Endowed Scholarship fund to award a student scholarship annually. NIU received additional gifts to build a memorial garden adjacent to Cole Hall with individual monuments, an eternal flame statue and new trees surrounding the site. Nearby, a unique species of tree was planted to honor the wounded students who survived the Cole Hall shooting. We planted oak trees in memory of Dan at the NIU lagoon and the Elmhurst baseball field where he played.

As another year passes since our beloved children were killed and other brave students were injured, we also grieve for parents and families of other senseless mass shootings in recent years, who continue asking, "Why did this happen to our child?" This lingering anger is attributable to the irresponsibility of the news media and local, state and federal officials who ignore the underlying cause. A primary cause directly contributing to mass shootings and suicides not being reported or addressed is mental illness and the dangerous drugs psychiatrists prescribe without accountability or safeguards to stop mentally ill patients from access to guns and ammunition, thereby preventing them from carrying out violent actions.

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