Behind the Bands: Hate is heavy. Love is light.

The story of Daniel Anderl is one of heroism, yet also a tragic reminder of the dangers that federal judges face while upholding our nation’s laws.

It was a normal Sunday during the COVID lockdown in July of last year. Judge Esther Salas, her husband Mark Anderl, and their son Daniel were at home when the doorbell rang.

Daniel and his father answered the door to find a man holding a gun. The man fired several shots, striking Daniel once and Mark several times. The gunman, who turned out to be an anti-feminist, racist lawyer, had planned to assassinate Judge Salas. He fled the scene and took his life a day later. Critically wounded, Mark would go through 15 surgeries on his pathway to recovery. Daniel tragically lost his life.

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Daniel and his parents, Esther & Mark.

Hate is heavy. Love is light.

Admirably, the Salas-Anderl family have found it in their hearts to forgive their son’s killer.

“Love is light, and it’s so true, you can’t walk around with that burden of resentment, hate, it’s like an anchor, it holds you down.”

Judge Esther Salas

Instead of being consumed by hate, they’ve chosen to focus their energy on remembering Daniel and working to prevent similar tragedies from ever happening again.

Daniel’s Law

This tragic incident made clear that we need to improve on how we protect judges and their families.

Due to Daniel’s heroism and tragic story, legislation was drafted and passed in New Jersey. It’s known as Daniel’s Law, and it protects the home addresses and telephone numbers of judges, prosecutors, and law enforcement officers from public disclosure.

Furthermore, the Daniel Anderl Judicial Security and Privacy Act has been introduced on a federal level with hopes of providing these protections to judges not just in New Jersey, but across the nation.

The Daniel Anderl “Love is Light” 5K

To commemorate the one-year anniversary of Daniel’s passing, the Love is Light 5k was created. It’s an event with 3 missions:

  1. Honor Daniel’s Legacy.
  2. Advocate for the Daniel Anderl Judicial Security and Privacy Act.
  3. Raise money for academic scholarships.

Wristband Bros was honored to donate wristbands to the cause. Adopting the New Jersey law nation-wide, and in the process better protecting those in the judicial system across the country, seems like a no-brainer to us. And it would be a fitting legacy for Daniel and his family, who have endured far too much.

Daniel’s sacrifice has already led to some very meaningful change, and we’re certain that it will continue to make a lasting impact on the lives of many going forward.

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