August 5 2019

To the Communities of Gilroy, El Paso, and Dayton…

In 1864 President Lincoln sent a letter to Mrs. Lydia Bixby, a Boston widow who lost five sons on the field of battle during the Civil War.  In this letter, he states: “I feel how weak and fruitless must be any words of mine which should beguile you from the grief of a loss so overwhelming.”

With President Lincoln’s words in mind, I pray and trust the pain, hurt, broken-ness, and tears of your families and loved ones catalyze the leadership changes that our nation must advance in the days, months, and years ahead:

  • A meaningful sense of belonging, compassion, and the Beloved Community
  • An end to Divisiveness and Hate
  • Racial Healing and Reconciliation
  • Gun laws and policies that place community safety first and foremost
  • A substantial expansion of community- and school-based mental health services and supports

Yes, you are in our thoughts and prayers.  But we recognize the work of healing and community safety must have the faces and remembrances of the lives lost meaningfully engaged and ever-present.

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