This place has been my home for 35 years and more. It’s a tough city, a good city, full of good people. You’ve now seen lots of them rushing into the maelstrom to help the victims of Monday’s bombing.
As I write this it appears that members of my school’s community are safe, which is fine, but of course so many others aren’t. For their communities and families, it can never be fine.
I had a post all drafted for Friday about Patriots Day, the Massachusetts holiday that commemorates the events at Lexington and Concord on April 19, 1775. That one was a day of heroes, but it happens that April 19 has had a subsequent, shameful history that has been particularly unkind to children: Waco (about 20 children dead, many apparently in fires set by the besieged fanatics there) and Oklahoma City (19 children dead among the scores of others; McVeigh was executed without a word of remorse about the kids, most of whom were in a daycare center in the blown-up building). The massacre at Columbine took place on April 20. The Virginia Tech shootings took place on April 16, which happened to be the Monday we in Massachusetts were celebrating as Patriots Day in 2007.
Now the maniacs or zealots or sadists (really, they’re all three) who set the bombs in Boston have taken the lives of at least one more child, on Patriots Day.
About all I want to salvage from my draft, now scrapped, are these sentiments:
In the bright world to come that I’d like to imagine ahead, the honoring of children--the living embodiment of our future, of our hopes for that bright world--would be something to which we might want to give a day. If we’re true patriots, we see our work as strengthening America, and as educators and citizens this means strengthening our schools, making sure that they are truly the broad and sturdy foundation of the democracy we believe in and must have for the future.
Maybe we can make Patriots Day a day to celebrate our kids and make their safety, their well being, and their education a national priority.
The farmers of Lexington and Concord were standing for their children’s future with the crude tools of war, and in time they won our freedom. Now, with weapons of peace, learning, and justice, let’s stand for our children’s future.
Engage with Peter on Twitter: @pgow
The opinions expressed in Independent Schools, Common Perspectives are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.