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Readers on Slain Officer Stephen T. Johns

Funeral services for slain U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum security officer Stephen T. Johns take place today at Ebenezer AME Church in Ft. Washington.

A Smithsonian Institution honor guard moves the casket of Stephen T. Johns to the viewing and funeral. (Jonathan Newton -- Post)

Johns was working at the museum last week when, authorities say, James W. von Brunn walked in with a rifle and fatally shot him after the officer opened the door for the 88-year-old man.

Washington Post readers have shared thoughts on Johns and on the shooting in various places on the site, including the Johns profile written by Christian Davenport and Paul Duggan after his death. Here is a sampling of comment;

Our hearts go out to the family of Officer Johns who dedicated himself to help eradicate the very insanity that killed him. -- author401
this is so sad,especially knowing he leaves behind a young son. we are still saddened by the hate crime of the killing of dr. g tiller here in wichita,ks. now another senseless act of violence and hate. -- lulus4suns
It is a tragedy that Mr. Johns was struck down, but it is also amazing that the remaining guards were able to act quickly and control the situation without any harm to the museum-goers. Condolences to Mr. Johns' family and a solemn thank you to all museum guards. -- sciencegrrl
Brother Stephen T. Johns, you did your family well FIRST. Then you made the sacrifice for your country and we thank you for the heroism. -- truthbeebold
My prayers are with the family of Mr. Johns. I am even more sadden to discover from reading this article that he and I graduated from Crossland High School together in 1988. -- mreid1970
I've entered the USHMM numerous times while researching, and I'm sure Stephen T. Johns greeted me on a few of those. The guards were always friendly, but alert, and it pains me for his needless death. When will this needless violence end? -- sberge4

You can add your own in the Comments section below. We'll add more over the course of the day.

-- David P. Marino-Nachison

By Washington Post Editors  |  June 19, 2009; 9:04 AM ET
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I was very glad (and sad) to see Johns on the "in memoriam" section of This Week with George Stephanopolous. It is so rare that we see an "ordinary" working person remembered on a national news program. So sorry it was for this reason. My best wishes and prayers are for his family.

Posted by: ingbermr | June 19, 2009 10:14 AM | Report abuse

The man was a true hero. We will never know exactly how many lives he saved, but we know it was significant and valuable. His friends and family should be proud of him and his life. I am.

Posted by: GaryEMasters | June 19, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

I am saddened to have to write these words. I am glad though that this wonderful hero is being remembered appropriately.

He should never be forgotten.

Racism still exists. I knew this before Officer Johns was shot and killed but I got complacent and forgot that it is not only ignorance but an immediate, physical danger.

Officer Johns deserved better. Not just because it is wrong to hate and to kill but because he lived. All life has value. Decent, kind folks are missed all the more for their added value to our society.

Posted by: nicarobrooke | June 19, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse

This is such a sad time for our country. At a time when there are so many things that can impact us both individually and as families causing havoc, chaos, depression and loss of hope, we need to know that God is in control. Our prayers go out to the family of the security guard; to the family of the shooter, who must face this horrendous event for the rest of their lives as well; to those who have the responsibility of investigating "hate groups" and those who would inflict harm without cause.

We are one society--all under one God. If we as individuals hate this type of cruelty and unnecessary action that has been inflicted on innocent people, then let us learn to love one another and accept each other's differences without being vengeful and hateful. If you know of someone who has experienced an event in their life that has had severe impact on them and could result in harm to another, give comfort to that person with prayer, or with scripture. Nothing can be accomplished by doing evil; but all good things work to the good for those who love God.

Posted by: blessingsalways | June 19, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

May his memory be for a blessing.

Posted by: Blurgle | June 19, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

- For Special Officer John's young son. Please know that for every single act of hate there are a million acts of kindness. Hate eats and corrodes the soul, Love and Kindness are eternal and everlasting. Your Father knew that. Hold your head high for you are the son of a King amoung men.

Posted by: MICA77 | June 19, 2009 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Officer John's is an American hero; simple as that. He saved countless lives that day. Without him and the other officers on duty there could have been many more victims, including children visiting the museum on field trips. Let's focus on remembering Officer Johns and not on the shooter.

Posted by: sark441 | June 19, 2009 1:12 PM | Report abuse

My heart and prayers goes out to the JOHNS FAMILY on the loss of their son, due to this senseless act of violence/hatred..we truly live in a world with so much hatred. It really makes no sense, now his family must deal with this grief the rest of their lives. The shooter need to fry in hell!

Posted by: veholland | June 19, 2009 1:31 PM | Report abuse

I cried when I heard Mr. Johns had died. He joins the ranks of so many heroes who run toward, rather than away from, danger.

May his family find peace. We share your terrible loss.

Posted by: gettingdizzy1 | June 19, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

I am so so sorry for this man and his family. Just reading this article brought tears to my eyes and I don't even know him. And to think, this fine young man opened the door for this killer!

Mr. Stephen T. Johns may God bless you and your are marvelous. (Fly away, young man, be with God, you are in good hands now) and no longer have to deal with this cruel, cruel world.

Posted by: Showdown41 | June 19, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

My thoughts and prayers go out the Johns Family. It's a sad day as we continue to lose our young men due to hate and violence. A special prayer for his son. I hope he will get the support and comfort he will certainly need.

Posted by: geebee | June 19, 2009 3:17 PM | Report abuse

The CNN transcript of eyewitness 'Maria' said that Johns was not shot by Von Brunn.

But would the truth make any difference to anybody?

Posted by: ThoTh | June 19, 2009 10:48 PM | Report abuse

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