March 10th was the first official Walk Against Violence event, presented by Team Bali and Dem Diamondz promotional group. I wasn’t sure what to expect after I first drove past, because I only saw a handful of people there. So, I drove to the Fort Pierce Marina to kill time and check out the scenery while I waited for more people to arrive at the location for the walk. When I returned, I noticed a few more vendor booths in place. I parked and asked a gentleman preparing his booth if he expected a large turnout. He informed me that where I was, was actually the end location of the walk and people already began walking…that put a smile on my face.
Although I would have to wait for everyone to arrive, I was happy to hear that I was at the “end zone”. I just hoped to see more than 20 people participating since this was such a great cause. While speaking to some vendors we noticed cop cars driving and closing off the ends of the road. Then we saw another cop car driving slowly with flashing lights and a large group of people behind it. I was ecstatic to see that behind that car was a huge group of participants. Signs held high and some wearing t-shirts that were dedicated to loved ones lost.
During the event, attendees were offered the opportunity to speak. Those who were willing, shared what the walk meant to them, their opinion of the current state of violence in the community and relationships between officers and civilians. The pavement was lined by prints of victims of violence, a lot of photos. Different age groups, different ethnicity, but the same fate. A sad reminder of why this event was so necessary.
Entertainment included performances by Tamara H, SDS and Legendary Bali. The acts were great and I finally had the opportunity to meet people I only spoke with on Facebook! I stayed to hear a few songs then had to prepare to leave! It was really hot outside and I still had other events to visit, so this is where my story ends! 🙂
Click to view event photos!
Yesterday, I went to the ‘Take Time to Honor’ memorial site in Tradition, Port St Lucie. As I mentioned on Facebook, this was bittersweet. I really wanted to visit on a day when speeches wouldn’t be held and there would be no crowd, so it was the perfect time. I could view the area quietly, think about the sacrifice these men and women made and imagine what it would be like to hear them chit chatting today. I know, I’m a strange thinker. Standing there surrounded by 2,700 markers I stared at some of the crosses, a few seconds of day dreaming. As beautiful as the memorial was, it hurt knowing what it meant. I read the names on a few dog tags and wondered what the cadets and volunteers who created these were thinking, while they made each one. There were a few people there, two guards standing so still at the memorial entry way, people trying to find the marker that honors their loved one and a cute little boy too afraid to get close to the helicopter or take a photo for me, but his eyes lit up when his grandma offered him fruit.
Having a website which feeds off the energy of those seeking events in our area, I was trying to find the proper way to greet people on my Facebook page. I wanted to remind them of today’s happenings and was looking for the perfect opening line, but I was so lost. Saying ‘Happy Memorial Day’ didn’t seem right…or proper, being that the purpose of this Holiday is to remember those who lost their lives in war. But, at the same time, we’re told to celebrate the lives and memories of those we lost.
Thank you Southeastern Military Academy and The Road to Victory Military Museum for allowing people like me, who never really gave it much thought, to experience something like this. Memorial Day for me used to mean an excuse to party with friends. This is officially my first Memorial Day! Out of curiosity, how did you greet people today?
View Memorial photos at http://www.SupportStLucieCounty.com