Last Wednesday, February 14th, 2018, started off as an ordinary day. Adults went to work, children went to school and up until the middle of the afternoon, nothing seemed out of the ordinary.
By the time the sun set, February 14th, 2018 would become an extraordinary day, but not in the way that many of us would imagine an extraordinary day to be. At Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, 14 students and three staff members were killed by a former student.
The reverberation of the loss of 17 innocent people seems to have finally touched a nerve with the American public. While gun control has remained a hot topic on both sides of the political aisle for far too long, most, if not all attempt of legislating common sense gun control has died before it can be signed into law.
But things are about to change.
On March 24th, the March For Our Lives will be occurring across the country. Started by the students who lost their friends and teachers, it is their anger and grief that will hopefully convince those in power to stop taking money from the NRA and do what is right for the country.
If you can march, please do so. If you can’t march, but still want to participate, please donate. The future of our country and our children depends on it.
Premiering on February 19th, 1968, the program originally aired on what would later become known as public television. Unlike other children’s programming, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood spoke directly to its young audience. Neither overly dry/educational or over the top cartoon-y, the program was and still is the model of children’s educational television.
Like many members of my generation, I remember watching Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood as a young child. Fred Rogers did not feel like a much older adult, he felt like a friend who encouraged those watching to think, to feel, to be curious about the world around them and to ask questions. I feel like multiple generations of Americans have a level of emotional intelligence that they would have not developed, had Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood not been a part of their early years.
Fred Rogers passed away during my final year of college. As an adult, I’ve come to believe that one of the markers of adulthood is loosing someone or something that was integral to your childhood. His passing was a subtle reminder that the shift from childhood to adulthood was coming rapidly.
While Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood is no longer on the air, the program still lingers in the hearts and minds of the multiple generations of American children whose childhood was shaped by the program.