I have lived my whole life in the Kalamazoo area, and for all 18 of those years, we have had good and bad times as a community. Through weather disasters, economic recessions, and senseless violence, we have been strong. Through energetic festivals, economic success, to our many points of pride in small businesses, sports teams, and beautiful landscape, we have been one united community. The good have well outweighed the bad, and this area is one of the greatest areas in which anyone could ask to grow up.
Now, the recent events in Kalamazoo are undoubtedly troubling, and quite honestly frightening. We must keep the victims, their families, and friends, in our thoughts and continue to support those in our community who are affected by this tragedy. However, as a community we must use these events to learn and to grow because if we do not make something positive from these awful events, the tragic deaths of 6 members of our community are that much more tragic. We must find a way to band together as a community and lead ourselves back into the positive again.
This is not about being national news, or whether or not we should have school, or gun control. It is a matter of banding together and not allowing these events to drag our community out of the positive light that we all love. These events-these human events- are far too important to spend our time debating whether we should have guns or not, or if we should be afraid to leave our houses. The focus must be that these events are very tragic incidents that unfortunately strike across the country far too often. The question we must ask ourselves is what we can do to make them stop. So as we take time to remember and mourn Tyler, Richard, Mary Lou, Mary Jo, Barbara, and Dorothy, we must, as a community, join together against this violence.
Kalamazoo always has been and always will be home for many of us and Kalamazoo will continue to be the lively and beautiful town that it always has been. These recent events do not change that in anyway, we still live in the friendly Kalamazoo area we always have. Embrace the love and support of our community and rise up above these outrageous events. We must come together and lead our community back into the light. We must be Kalamazoo Strong.