Peace feels so far away. On June 17, a gunman killed nine people in Charleston, SC. I can’t imagine sitting in a place of worship and experiencing that violence from a stranger. I can’t fathom the kind of hatred that leads to sitting among people you don’t know, then ending their lives. It shows privilege and a blindness that I’m so shocked.
Last Sunday, the community remembered them together.
I just spent a week in New Paltz, NY, a liberal college town with a Peace Park across from the Village Hall. On one boarder is the street where I parallel parked my mom’s white Honda Civic hatchback to earn my license (on the second try) almost two decades ago. I recognize the new mayor’s smile–his mother taught me calculus. At the culmination of each Memorial Day parade, our marching band stood a few yards from this park. Every year, it seems, at least one of our ranks passed out from the heat under those ridiculous hats that resembled oversized Q Tips. There, men brandished guns for ceremony.
We have our demons of prejudice and ignorance here. We have our moments and movements of love. Peace lives here, too.