FORMER STUDENT GOES ON
U.S. hurt by ongoing, growing moral crisis
America is at a moral crossroads. Yesterday morning, before Ash Wednesday Mass at St. Brigid Church in South Boston, I told the Rev. Robert Casey, “It’s really moving to see so many wonderful women and men, probably on the way to work, but they wanted to begin the holy season of Lent by attending Mass. We never hear how decent and caring these people are. All we ever see on TV and the movies is the exploitation and glorification of sex and violence.”
Later, when my wife, Kathy, and I walked down to St Anthony’s Shrine in Downtown Crossing, we found the church full of Catholics receiving their ashes.
But about this same time, word had started to spread about the horrific shooting at a high school in Florida.
I began to see looks of fear and concern on the faces of people on the streets of Boston. I can only imagine how they felt.
All of our hearts break for the families of the 17 children and teachers slain, allegedly by a disturbed former student with a rifle. Those families need our love and our concern — as do all parents who pour everything they have into raising good kids.
And our children, our nation’s greatest promise — who we fail when they are subjected to violence — also need all the love and concern we can give them.
I thought about how values of kindness and sportsmanship were driven in us as kids not only by our parents growing up, but by our coaches, clergy, teachers and even at our local veterans’ post. We have to ask ourselves: Are we doing the same for our own children and grandchildren?
Those of us who are older weren’t exposed to all this violence on TV the way kids are today.
Today, you can’t even mention God and values in our public schools, while TV offers up an endless diet of shootings, gangs, drugs and violence. Movies and video games are full of violence and disregard for human life. The killing is not limited to poor inner-city neighborhoods. In Parkland, Fla., we saw how it can hit affluent communities.
I am heartened though, when I do see good hardworking, concerned parents not only worrying about their own children’s safety, but the future of America, like so many of the people I saw in church and on the streets of Boston yesterday. These people know where the problem begins. Now all of us, from the highest elected officials down to each of us in our homes, need to focus all our energy and love on the moral crisis facing America.
HEARTBREAKING: Parents and family gather at Coral Springs Drive and the Sawgrass Expressway just south of the campus after a school shooting yesterday.
TRAGEDY: A law enforcement officer directs traffic, above, while family and friends gather, below.