Go in peace [Editorial]

There’s a whole lot of this year left, so as it always does, time will tell how much resemblance 2018 has to 1968.

We don’t want this year to be anything like 1968. Fifty years ago next month, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated as he stood on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tenn. His murder not only touched off riots in cities across the country, including Baltimore, but also sparked fears of unrest unlike any in modern times.

Two months later, Sen. Robert F. Kennedy was murdered as he left a ballroom in a Raddison Hotel in Los Angeles moments after giving his acceptance speech after winning California’s primary in his late bid to win the Democratic nomination for president.

This year isn’t a presidential election year so that is one similarity that’s not applicable.

Another part of the chaos that was 1968 that we hope is never repeated is the assassination of one of country’s leaders. That year two of the best and the brightest that represented so much hope for a generation were slain. Never again we say to that.

One similarity that we not only applaud, but also encourage, is peaceful protests that send powerful messages to those in power who can effect whatever change is being advocated.

That happened recently with the March For Our Lives in Washington, D.C., where young people and other supporters turned out 800,000 strong to make it clear they want action to protect them and countless other students across the nation from the violence too often inflicted in places of learning.

One participant in the march from Harford County described it simply as “a very powerful and a very emotional thing.”

Kiera Fyffe, a senior at C. Milton Wright High School who uttered those words, also said “it honestly surpassed my expectations.”

Mary Jane Price, a Havre de Grace resident, who coordinated a group from the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Harford County, said the march was more of a rally than a protest.

“To me, it wasn’t a march against anything,” she said. “It was a rally of love for our young people.”

That’s a perfect way to communicate a message.

Not that long ago, there was a protest, rally, march or however you choose to label it planned in Charlottesville, Va. The day of the event, extremists on the other side arrived in town to have their views heard, too. The event turned violent. And the message of the day, no matter which side one was on, was forever lost in the violence.

Perhaps, as the Churchville church leader said, protest was the wrong word to describe last Saturday’s March For Our Lives.

However one chooses to describe it and any similar events yet to transpire, we hope Americans continue to peacefully stand up for what they believe and never have to fear anything bad happening from a peaceful expression of their views.

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