Webpage Dedicated To Matt Sherpard

Letters Of Expression

Matthew I know I didn't know u but at the time of your death I lived in Riverton Wyoming, the word about your death were sent around the world I know that if hate crimes continue we won't have much of a human race left I just wish more people could be more like u!! I truly wish I could have met u and I wish that there could have been someone with u so that u would still live on but God giveths and God Takeths away.....

I never new you
But I know what they did
It brakes my hart to think
There are people like this
Some times I wish
That there was a way
To bring you back
So you could still speek out
And help those who are in need
Becuase you understood the life
Of some one not like others
And shared it with the world
And maid people think twice
about those around them.
Just for one person
as strong as you
You have opend my eyes
To see that hate never pays
And you dided becuase you belived
Your my hero and will always be.
You will always be part of my Rainbow
the bright shining colers
that will always glow forever.

Love Renee'

I remember hearing about this in 1998. I wasn't big into news, so I wasn't paying much attention. UNTIL I saw that movie on MTV. Throughout the entire movie my heart had this pressure on it. I cried and cried and cried. Last year at school, in my english class, I had to do a persuasive speech. The entire class did. My friend very calmly said to me that she was doing hers on homosexual marriages. I was like WOW, good for you. Your sticking up for them. And she replied very nastily, "No, against them". I just about flipped. I told her that she was sick and asked her "What if someone in that room is Gay?" She said "So? Thats their problem." I was so furious. I hadn't yet chosen my topic for my speech, but from that conversation I figured it out. I decided to do the exact opposite. My speech was going to be for supporting homosexual marriages. I prepared my big speech up, and found newspaper articles. I kicked butt when I got up and have my speech. The funny thing about that is she ended u Thankyou
Rest in peace

Matthew I know I didn't know u but at the time of your death I lived in Riverton Wyoming, the word about your death were sent around the world I know that if hate crimes continue we won't have much of a human race left I just wish more people could be more like u!! I truly wish I could have met u and I wish that there could have been someone with u so that u would still live on but God giveths and God Takeths away.....

What were they thinking
as they watched him plead
did they think of his cause
or just their need

What were they thinking
as they left him hang there
did they once stop and think
did they once shed a tear

What were they thinking
when they left him there to die
did it matter to them
when they heard his cry

What were they thinking
that October day
when they turned their backs
when they walked away

written by Abby

I did not know you
I never saw your face
I never touched you
I never felt your embrace

Yet apart of me died
When they took you away
I shed so many tears
that dim October day

It was not fair what you endured
the pain you went through
I want you to know
that the world felt it too

So as you look down from heaven
know that you are in my heart
I will always carry you with me
we will never be apart...


A MiLLi0n WoRDs Would Not Bring You Back, I Kn0w, BecauseI've Tried.
Neither Would A Million TeaRs. I Know, BeCause I've Cried
EVeN THoUgH i DiD NOt KnoW YoU I WiLL stIll miSs yoU MaTtHeW
love always....
jetia miller

We are all children of this earth born members of the family Every last one of us deserves to be treated with dignity We are a rainbow of colors and a smorgasbord of beliefs Yet we are sisters and brothers in our happiness and our grief We must exalt our difference exploring possibilities Without the need for arrogance and all our petty jealousies We must never fear the unknown but join hands and stand together Without the need for casting stones to prove our beliefs are better Ignorance is our enemy and judgment is our albatross Love is the light that lets us see that hatred is too great a cost When we reach out to each other and see beyond our difference Only then will we discover the pathways back to innocence Turn the graveyards into gardens and battlefields to fields of grain Without need to beg your pardon when we know we are all the same The world should be a family where everyone is free to share Splendid peculiarities that have no cause to cause despair from “A View From The Cave”: ethanSteven Publishing Co. john beckman, 10/12/1998, 4:53 a.m. copyright pending, 1998

The world is not the same
a part of us has died
with that precious young gift
who to a fence was tied
A kind and gentle soul
so young and so bright
I only wish I knew him
to the world he brought light
He died on a cross
like our savior long ago
he cries to us this
that peace shall we sow
Hate has killed Matthew
a martyr he was made
we must think of him always
his memory must not fade
This world lies in darkness
this more I will say
all must love all
Matthew wished it that way
If its Matthew we mourn
if its Matthew who we love
let us pray to end hate
to God in heaven above
Matthew dwells with the Lord
his spirit rests in God's arms
our Lord cherishes Matthew
and protects him from harm
We will never forget Matthew
he will be in our prayers
let us strive to be like him
may his concerns be our cares
Farewell beloved Matthew
although gone you are here
you never really left us
our hearts hold you dear
We love you always forever Matt!
From a friend you never knew,

Dear Matthew:
It's twilight here in Sharon. I've lit my candle and a single star to remember you on your birthday and placed them in my window. Now, I thought, two months after your death, would be a good time to sit and think and try to figure out why your death and life so impressed me, someone who had never met you.
Partly it was because your birthday is in the same month as mine, the month in which we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Redeemer. Partly it was because of the differences in our years, your life in the springtime of its existence, mine in the late autumn of my years. It seemed so unfair, so unjust for your life to be brutally ended just when it was beginning. Certainly it was because when I looked on your young, innocent face, my mind conjured up all the thousands of students I have taught over thirty five years and my heart was torn with grief over your death and suffering as it would have been if any of my students, past or present, had met a similar fate. You looked like just a nice, intelligent kid to me. How could anyone hate you so because of an orientation which is peripheral to the uniqueness of you?
When the first editorial cartoons about your murder began to appear, I e-mailed Daryl Cragle of Honolulu, the editor of an on-line professional cartoonist site and asked him to get up a special collection on you. He answered that it would not be practical for you would soon be forgotten as was the African-American man from Jasper. I did not believe him. But I should have recalled an incident from my own past. I was teaching about the Vietnam War at Penn State after the Kent State tragedy and a young co-ed came up after class to tell me that surely Vietnam would be the last war, that people were not so stupid or insane that they would do it again. I gently told her that we would always have hate and war with us. It seems endemic to the human condition. We enjoy it so. We rouse ourselves to a brief instant of self-righteous anger after a tragedy, and then forget it, go about our lives and continue to hate. I thought you would make a difference, Matt, because what was done to you was so inhuman. Certainly I thought that this time we would sustain our outrage. Finally we would simply say- enough- this must not happen again- no more hate- hate no more. It is, after all, the season of the birth of the Son of God who is love and who taught us that if we say we love God, whom we have not seen, and hate our brother, whom we have seen, then we are liars and God is not in us.
But human nature never changes. The evil old man continues on. I notice that the sites which sprang up after your murder are either static or in decline. Most seem to feel that you have had your fifteen minutes of fame and should now be decent enough to depart the stage to make room for the wonderful new flavor of the month. Only those with an agenda will labor on, for a time. I thought our campus was going to hold a candle light vigil tonight, which is your birthday as well as AIDS Awareness Day. But the sponsoring student group confined it to AIDS victims, noting correctly that you were not among their number. But the real reason, I feel, was that you were gay and, therefore, an embarrassment to them. They did not wish to become a target for protest or be seen as sympathizers for gay rights, which is understandable enough. So they took incredible steps to separate you from your own birthday. I did not attend. Instead I sit my lonely vigil here at home. Perhaps it is better this way for now I am free to ponder quietly the meaning of your life and the "youness" of you. In a way you were made "other", a stereotype which Simone wrote made it possible to dismiss what we do not understand and kick it out the front door, as we would any nasty mess that has been deposited on our floor. But I hope that here and there in the Shenango Valley tonight, a few of my students who understood the message I was trying to convey to them, lit a candle in your memory. It's not much, but it will have to be enough. Even a few small candles can help ward off the darkness of human evil and barbarity.
Jerry Falwell and his crowd tell us they only hate your sin, not you the sinner. Excuse me- but that's bull crap, the kind of pious hypocracy uttered by so-called Christians who know they should not hate yet seek to justify the darkness within their souls in the name of their Redeemer. All humans are sinners. It is not our task to judge what constitutes a sin- for sin, after all, is an offfense against God Himself. Despite delusions of grandeur, in our saner moments we must admit that we are not God. Leave judgment to him or you will bring judgment down on your own head. When I looked on you, Matt, I saw not a sinner, nor a homosexual, but just a kid. "God is our father, brothers all are we, let me walk with my brother, in perfect harmony."
One thing I do know, Matt, is that you have changed me forever. After Laramie I just can't hate anymore. To do so would be to put my hand over that of the bastard who pistol whipped you, tied you to a fence in freezing temperatures, and abandoned you to agony and death, just another inconvenient "other" who bothered him. I won't be an accomplice to such hate. Instead I will spend the remainder of my teaching career keeping your memory alive by pointing out that love, respect and tolerance is the only way we can stop hurting each other. This world could be a paradise, if only we would let it be.
Happy birthday Matthew. I will never forget you.
Leonard R. Riforgiato
Associate Professor of History
Penn State University-Shenango Campus
Sharon, Pennsylvania

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