Tracy Martin came home during the weekend with messages for our local parents as local communities began a 40-day campaign to end violence. We found the hopeful words of a man who so tragically lost his teen son, Trayvon, to gunshots from a Florida neighborhood watch member to be especially poignant and worth repeating.
"It seems that we've adapted this lifestyle. We don't get along with each other. We have to disenfranchise this monster," Martin told his audience in East St. Louis. "We have to take the kids back to church. Without faith, there is no hope. We have to speak positive messages to the kids, and lead by example. Our kids have no direction. You get what you put out. If you put out positive vibes, you'll receive positive vibes. If you put out negative vibes, that's what you will get. I'm a firm believer in karma."
A second news item also caught our attention. Pope Francis appealed for peace in Ukraine before he and some children released two peace doves. The doves were attacked by other birds.
One dove lost some feathers. One disappeared and even might have been killed. But there is hope they survived.
Tracy Martin has hope after all he's been through. He has hope that families can coalesce and use faith to put their children on the right path. He has faith that his hometown can become a safe place for those children.
Do any of us have a right to doubt if this man doesn't? That said, we also have a responsibility to guard our fledglings from marauders.
Here's hoping for positive actions that will extend the peace well beyond 40 days.