The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

December 22, 2013

Take child’s ‘peace’ message to heart

The Commercial-News

There are some things about life I’ll never understand. One of them is why two young men chose to destroy and maim other people, and take the life of a young boy who had been on this earth for only eight years. That is how old Richard Martin was when he died in the Boston Marathon bombing.

Following the Boston tragedy of April 15, I kept a picture of Richard Martin from a news article in the front of a sorter on my desk. It was taken earlier, when his life was full of promise, as was demonstrated by the blue sign he held in his hands, “No More hurting People” Richard wrote at the top of his sign. Below that, “Peace” was written in large letters, surrounded by hearts. At the bottom of the sign was a peace symbol.

The picture of Richard and his sign have been an inspiration to me this year.

I have heard many speeches, and read numerous articles, but not one carries a message more precise, and meaningful than the few words chosen by young Richard for his blue sign. His life was taken in the mindless violence that occurred on that sunny April morning, but his thoughtful, inspiring words live on.

Year’s end is a fine time to remember and reflect on those who have left us. If everyone would take to heart Richard’s brief, thoughtful, message, “No More hurting People,” what a wondrous thing it would be.

Donald Richter’s column appears every other week in the Commercial-News. He is a member of the Vermilion County Museum Board.