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October 9, 2012

The shooting of Kenneth Archbold took place near my house. I still remember when my mother came home and told me there was a shooting on 135th. I had just walked by that corner earlier in the evening. It’s right by the entrance to the 2/3 train.

I also remember subsequently coming out of the train and seeing a group of young kids holding a vigil for their friend Kenneth. I remember their young faces, already exposed to the reality of life and death. I remember people holding candles and signing a blue poster with Kenneth’s picture on it. A few weeks later I was walking by the corner and noticed the memorial had changed. Instead of the blue poster with farewell messages there was a different blue sign with Kenneth’s face on it. A the top it read “HAPPY BIRTHDAY.” A helium balloon with the same words was tied to the fence. I took a picture of the updated memorial but hadn’t posted it out of respect for the young man and his family. I didn’t want to unwittingly sensationalize the situation. Now that the apprehension of the shooter is in the paper, I think it’s appropriate to post the photo so that everyone can see what’s going on.

Memorial for Kenneth Archbold

Social issues are easy to ignore unless it’s personal. Well I want you to know – and feel – that the violence in our communities IS personal.

Remember, when we stand up for peace, we don’t just save the lives of victims, we save the lives of shooters as well. No life is disposable. I pray for Kenneth Archbold, Jeremy Sanchez, and all of their families and friends.


From → Commentary

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