I remember the morning of Sept. 11, 2001 standing in the parking lot at work, watching that second plane go into the towers right in front of me. I also remember those inside my office that were cheering the falling of the towers and the murder of 3,000 people.
Earlier this month when I learned of the terrorist attacks in Israel, I was stunned. And even as the news of the deaths in my own family came through the phone, I watched on TV and social media sickening videos of the attacks: chopping off babies’ heads, children in cages, raped women slumped over vehicles and dead bodies displayed for the world to see. I was shocked to read social media posts justifying these barbaric acts. People that I knew right here in Wheat Ridge, were trying to justify these acts in a political way. Citing government reports and political initiatives. Trying to make sense of these disgusting acts by blood thirsty cowards in the name of their religion.
But it was the deafening sound of silence from my own city that stood out. When cities and communities around the world spoke out against the barbaric acts, my city remained silent. City council members and an equity committee that stood for so many causes and communities around the world, sat down in silence. It was finally the Wheat Ridge Optimist club that invited me to their meeting and stood in silent prayer for my family. We were also thankful for friends, coworkers and neighbors that reached out to check in and offer help.
After some resistance, my own company posted a message of support for Israel but had to take it down after two hours because of death threats to Jewish agents around the world. Chicago Black Lives Matter posted their support for Palestine without condemning the actions of Hamas. In the last year, antisemitic messaging has soared, with more than 6,750 separate occasions on which anti semitic organizations distributed racist or antisemitic content.
Amidst this rise in hate, others simply stayed silent, allowing it to continue. Anti semitism shows up in many different ways around us. There are still 150 people of various nationalities held hostage by the Hamas terrorists. Join me in a thought and prayer in hope for a safe return to their families.
When I purchased the Neighborhood Gazette I made only one change: to publish “only good news.” I had to remind myself of this when writing today. I wondered what readers like Pat would think, who call every month with “thanks” for the optimism in every issue. Positive relationships in our community are built when one can count on others for being there in times of need.
One piece of great news this month that has kept my spirit up has been the addition of Natalie Kerr as our new Editor. Joe O’Leary has left us for his dream job and we wish him the best of everything. Joe taught me so much and I would have never ventured down this path with him. I welcome Natalie and the energy and talent she brings with her…. As always, thanks for reading.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the author. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of the Neighborhood Gazette or its staff.