We Are All In This Together

Here in Chicago, the most urgent news story lately surrounds the tragic death of 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton.  She was a sweet and beautiful high schooler murdered while she took cover from the rain in a southside Chicago park.   Just days before her death she had performed at President Obama’s inauguration.  And now she is a national symbol for the tragedy of gun violence in America.

Today the police announced that two men were being charged with Hadiya’s murder.  When I heard about the charges, I imagined fierce and angry gangbangers with no souls.  But, the two men facing a life behind bars look like…little boys.  They are so young.

But, they are not young boys.  They are grown men who should have known better. If they are indeed guilty, their lives are over.  And rightly so.  My heart breaks for Hidaya’s family. And for the the accused murderers’ families, as well.  So much sadness and loss for so many innocent people.

Last month a man was gunned down one block from our house.  The kids and I were out in the neighborhood when it happened.  Although we didn’t hear the gunshots, when we turned the corner to head home the street was swarmed with police cars. When we left home at 5:30 he was alive. When we returned home at 6 pm, he was dead.  Just like that.

I’m not about to propose a solution to the issue of gun violence.  I don’t have all the facts, and I certainly don’t have all the answers. But I want my kids to grow up in a country that fosters and cultivates a culture of life.  Respect for life. Love for life. Patience for life.

We are all in this together.

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