Several events yesterday ' a march, a photography session, a vigil ' were linked by a common theme. St. Louis stands in solidarity regarding the tragic death of Trayvon Martin.
We stand together, as we have too often, in SADNESS at the loss of a young man's life.
We stand together in DETERMINATION that his death be accounted for.
We stand together in HOPE that lessons drawn from this tragedy will make our own children and our own neighborhoods safer.
I have long urged city residents to be vigilant and engaged in their own blocks and buildings. Those eyes and ears, that willingness to stand up against lawlessness, is the opposite of what seems to have happened in Florida. Vigilant neighbors are not vigilantes. And vigilantes are as bad ' or are worse ' than the problems they purport to solve.
As the residents of a city working harder to keep our children safe, we send our thoughts and prayers to Trayvon's family, friends, and neighbors. He was, by all accounts but one, an innocent young man victimized by fear or prejudice or mistake. We are all poorer for his loss.
I thank the organizers who invited me yesterday's events. The prayer vigil, which I attended with hundreds of you, was particularly moving. I urge them ' and all of you ' that we take every step to ensure that this is the sort of tragedy we avoid here by working together, by talking, by learning, by tolerating, by being accountable, and by caring.