By Edward M. Bury, APR (aka The PRDude)
The intention was simple: Visit the local forest preserves to take in the remaining days when the trees around metropolitan Chicago still had color before being stripped bare by the passing of another season.
Periodic light rain and the predominant overcast cloud cover would not prevent me from spending an enjoyable 60 or so minutes surrounded by nature and silence.
And, I did take in quiet time away from the our home in the Avondale neighborhood, as evidenced by the image at left. But while I intended to just reflect and ponder nothing during my walk, my thoughts kept returning to the unsettling state our nation is in right now.
Yes, of course, I was stunned and distraught by the alleged actions of the Florida man now charged with sending pipe bombs to elected officials, including two past Presidents; and, I was emotionally deflated and enraged after learning yesterday that 11 people in Pittsburgh were fatally shot while practicing their faith at a synagogue.
The first scenario reportedly was motivated by political beliefs. The second has its foundation based in hatred.
But what also triggered my emotions beyond the pipe bomb scare and mass murder was something much less horrifying, yet certainly disturbing to me. It took place in a small community in southern Illinois.
At a rally yesterday led by President Donald Trump, some in the crowd in the community of Murphysboro chanted, “Lock her up,” echoing the chant often heard during the 2018 presidential election.
Think about this: A purported madman uses the U.S. mail to send explosive devices to elected officials and another man is now being held on charges of murdering fellow Americans in a house of worship. However, those at the rally could not put aside their political differences for an evening; they were swept up by the moment, actions to me that dishonored the law enforcement officials who captured the bombing suspect, shot and later arrested the shooter, and most of all, the worshipers killed in Pittsburgh.
Shouldn’t Americans be better than this? Shouldn’t the people of America put their political beliefs aside following the two national news stories just mentioned?
Perhaps, I need to continue walking this fall in order to find an answer. Next week, I plan to follow a longer path.