Remembering Pittsburgh

I originally wrote a 2 part blog on a wood patio bench project. For now, I’m going to set the DIY blog aside and post it next week, instead I’m writing my own “Op Ed”. While I was driving from Tucson to Winslow for work, I was listening to the news. The same thing came up over and over. It is about the shooting in Pittsburgh at the synagogue. If you know anything about me, I’m about building bridges and creating collaboration. I really wanted to take a moment and remember the victims. I don’t personally know any of them, but this story of hate goes against my very nature.

To my CSI brothers and sisters in Pittsburgh, my prayers and thoughts go out to you. To the 11 people killed because of the senseless violence when a shooter stormed the Tree of Life synagogue Saturday Morning. I do the same for their families and friends and offer my prayers. I don’t understand hate, I probably never will. While I like a good debate and trying to get someone to understand my point of view, if they don’t agree that is OK. But hate and violence solves nothing.

On August 17, 1790, George Washington addressed the Jewish people of Newport, Rhode Island. He wrote a letter reminding everyone in America that we come together as a single people. I’ve included a snip from the letter, I encourage everyone to google the full letter, it is only 340 words. They are 340 words penned very well, the words are as true today as they were over 200 years ago.

It is now no more that toleration is spoken of as if it were the indulgence of one class of people that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights, for, happily, the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens in giving it on all occasions their effectual support.

These are the names of those we lost in this horrible event. I wanted to recognize them and not the shooter. Each one of these people are more than just a name and age. They are members of family and community. As I read about each one, there is so much that they gave while they were among us on this earth. Remembering them is another way to put the differences aside and embrace what we have in common.

  • Rose Mallinger, 97
  • Jerry Rabinowitz, 66
  • Cecil Rosenthal, 59
  • David Rosenthal, 54
  • Daniel Stein, 71
  • Richard Gottfried, 65
  • Joyce Fienberg, 75
  • Melvin Wax, 88
  • Sylvan Simon, 86
  • Bernice Simon, 84
  • Irving Younger, 65

As I reflect on those that were lost last week. I remembered that next year’s CONSTRUCT is on October 9 through the 11. The 9th is Yom Kippur. Yom Kippur, also known as the Day of Atonement, is the holiest day of the year in Judaism. If we are ever going to tear down the walls of hate, we need to show understanding for everyone around us and their beliefs. In retrospect, CONSTRUCT should have been on a different week to show respect to our Jewish brothers and sisters. I encourage everyone in this time of tribalism in the US, to remember who we are. We are stronger together and embrace our differences.

…and now for something completely different.
I always close with something different, some funny fact. There is nothing funny about this. This week I only want to encourage everyone to remember who we are and who we call friends. Most of all to always show compassion. I include myself in this personal time of reflection.


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Saturday, 13 July 2024