Every once in awhile something happens that gives me hope for our country. Something that shows the spirit and tenacity that made this country great.
One such story is evolving in Philadelphia right now. A one time beautiful city, a historical one and yes, the home of Rocky. That spirit!
The city is now plagued with crime. A month ago civic leaders and police asked for volunteers to patrol the streets. Seven thousand men answered. Mostly black. Mostly black, as reflects the inner city population, they came by foot, motorcycle, car, bus and even wheel chairs. Men, their sons and nephews. Coming to sign up to help protect their homes, families and neighborhoods. They sported shirts with the word "Stop the Violence."
Wow. They had little idea of how they would be trained or just what they would be asked to do, but all agreed they wanted to end the killings and the drug wars that have over run their neighborhoods.
The article states more than 300 people have been killed this year. Last year there were more than 406 homicides.
They know it will be a dangerous undertaking. One nurse who volunteered said he was tired of seeing victims with gunshot wounds at the hospital where he works. Despite the danger, he was ready to protect his neighborhood.
I cannot applaud them enough. I cannot help but believe they will succeed.
When it's personal enough. When we can relate to a danger to our homes, our loved ones, our cities, our nation, we can accomplish just about anything.
If the war in Iraq had this level of personal connection, would it have been won by now? But of course, it's not our war. Not anymore. If it ever was. It belongs to Iraq. It has been redefined too many times. The question I keep asking myself is, without passion and purpose can we even salvage it? When is enough, enough?