by The Rev. Anita Braden, Canon to the Ordinary
Our grief weighs heavily on our hearts from recent mass shootings, and then we learn that at least 14 additional mass shootings took place during the Memorial Day weekend across the United States. Currently, there are eight dead and fifty-nine wounded people.
Just a few days ago, we gathered to remember those who died from gun violence at our Candlelight Vigil, and hearing the list of names was heart-wrenching. We prayed, and many that were present pledged to speak up for those who are the most vulnerable in our society. Our children need us to create a safer school environment where they can explore the wonders of academics and the mysteries of life without the threat of losing their own life in the process. Additionally, adults need a safer environment to gather in places of worship, shop, and enjoy everyday living regardless of their race, culture, sexual orientation, religion, or ethnic background. No one should have to live in a constant state of fear for themselves, their loved ones, or their children.
I realize many among us are weary from all the tragic deaths and senseless killings, but we cannot give up, give in or deny the events that are taking place. Our collective voices can and will make a difference. Our prayers are not in vain, and our actions to speak up can and will bear fruit. All of us are needed at the table of change to ensure a safer tomorrow because if we cannot figure out how to live together in peace, we will continue to see the same tragic events continue to occur.