I need memorials
Yesterday, the National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama (pictured above) opened to the public. A Google search will quickly connect you to video (Oprah on 60 Minutes, for example) and photos and articles. If you’re not familiar with this, get familiar. Get familiar with the memorial, but mostly get familiar with the story …our story.
Do you have any idea how many black bodies hung at the end of a rope in the 75 or so years after the Civil War ended? The Equal Justice Initiative documented some 4,400 victims nationwide, including more than 300 in Alabama, between 1877 and 1950.
I want to see this place with my own eyes one day. It is one of a number of spaces and places designed to help us remember the worst of our humanity …so we might never go there again …so we can recognize our complicity …so we can own our arrogance and ignorance and anything-but-innocence …so we can mourn with those who mourn. As one who moves quickly to the part of grace that restores and renews, that speaks of hope, I need these places to slow me down so I do not miss the grace that rises out of grief that lingers and moans.