May 26 was a special day.

My son and his classmates enjoyed a senior parade at our wonderful Dunwoody High School. They were given their diplomas, caps and gowns, yearbooks and letters of love and support from teachers, family and friends. Each child was cheered on and beautifully celebrated.

It might not have been the end to the senior year we were all expecting, but let’s face it — and really absorb — how truly privileged we are to experience what we did.

We enjoyed the day and drove on and off campus and around town not concerned for our safety, not wondering who to trust. Parents weren’t afraid their children wouldn’t make it home that night.

Yet, at the same time, in the country I love dearly, recently other mothers have watched as their children — whatever age they may be — have been treated without regard for the basic tenets of life, liberty and justice. I am not a politically charged person, but I am struck as I watch, seemingly over and over again, as sons and daughters like Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd have lost their lives for no reason other than hate and an abuse of authority. I read in one report that George Floyd, a grown man in his 40s, made his last plea a desperate call for his mother.

So, talk about this at the dinner table, call your representatives, make a donation, write a letter, watch a thought-provoking movie. Make it clear to our children, ourselves and each other that this is not how we as Americans treat other human beings. Those times in the far distant past should remain there, way back in history never to be repeated. We are better than this as a nation and as individuals.

May God cover us all with his love and grace, keeping us ever mindful of others, our responsibility as active fellow citizens, our own opportunities for growth and change and the simple fact that the choices of a few do not define the beliefs of the whole.

So, let us continue, as we should, to mightily celebrate our sons and daughters and all they have worked for to reach this momentous graduation milestone. But as we do, we must not forget those mothers who have forever lost this privilege.

Kelly Curran Johnson

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