A Salute to Freedom in an Era of Terror

There was a minute's silence in Paris at the Place de la République to honor the victims of the terror attacks. (Mick Krever/CNN.)

Our duty is to publish a weekly LGBT newspaper for South Florida, but we do not operate in a vacuum.

Civilization and sanity have been shaken again this past week.

In fact, it has been a horrible year. Millions of refugees pour through Europe seeking to escape tyranny within their borders.

A Russian airliner is brought down with a bomb.

Christians are slain brutally by ISIS captors, beheaded or burned in public ceremonies that shock the conscience.

In Nigeria, tribal lords brutally slay their fellow citizens, wantonly kidnapping and raping hundreds of young girls.

Paris, France, the center of culture for Western Europe, is attacked again. Whether it was the offices of journalists or halls and stadiums where people gather in celebration, decency is degraded and death becomes the order of the day.

For families in Libya and Syria, Iran and Iraq, and in too many places in the Mideast, violence is a daily occurrence. East Palestine is imploding again. Beirut, which has already suffered so much, also endured an attack last week.

America, while it may have been free for a few years from foreign terrorists, deals with murders daily and mass shootings weekly. It’s terrorism, just domesticated, in schoolyards anywhere and cities everywhere; crazed lone gunmen taking out churches and even children.

The victims are random violence are local and global. The killings are senseless, and yet, they go on. So do we, as long as we can, and as long as we are here. We have to persevere; to strive to do better. There is no other way.

The LGBT community has celebrated many victories this past year, from emerging equality in the workplace to the legalization of gay marriages. We are not apart from the world, though. We are very much a part of it.

Accordingly, as we move to a hopeful and healthy holiday season, appreciating the gifts of freedom we have been blessed with here at home, let’s jointly say a prayer for peace for all. Let’s hope that others lives can be enriched as ours have.

It’s sad that we have to live in a world with so much violence and hate, so much killing and death. So much can be taken away so suddenly, so senselessly, so soon. Make each moment count.

As we approach Thanksgiving, be thankful for where we have come. But light at least one extra candle this Holiday season. Praying for world peace may never have meant as much.


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