At Funeral for Johns, Words of Grief and Hope
By Hamil Harris
Comments from today's funeral for security officer Stephen T. Johns, the security officer who was shot and killed last week at the U.S. Holocaust Museum.
Rev. John McCoy, senior pastor of the District's Word of God Baptist Church, who delivered the eulogy: "For too long too many of us have allowed racism to go unchallenged...there are times when silence is not golden, we must not allow racists to make us racist." By opening the museum's door for James von Brunn, the man accused of killing him, Johns "represented all that is good in decent people. Today that voice is silent but we cant afford to let love, justice and righteousness to be silent."
Roman R. Kent, a Holocaust survivor and chairman of the American Gathering of Jewish Holocaust Survivors: "As for as I am concerned love has no boundaries and prejudice has no part in our lives. I think (McCoy's) remarks were both powerful in the content and in the delivery. I shouldn't say they were enjoyed because this was not a morning to enjoy, but I really appreciate and admire the powerful remarks that were made."
Anthony Polonsky, an Albert Abramson Professor of Holocaust Studies from Brandeis University, currently assigned to the museum. "Racism affects African Americans and Jews and we need to find solutions together." Johns was African-American.
Bobbie Gentry, a Wackenhut Security Guard, who worked with Johns at the museum, said that John's death shows the need for better equipped security officers: "Everybody in the red zone needs more vests and better weapons because we don't have the resources that we need."
Rabbi Tamara Miller, Director of Spiritual Care at George Washington University, who was singled out during the eulogy for being in the emergency room when Johns came in: "I felt compelled to come here today, not just a rabbi but as a Jewish person who gave comfort and care that was a light on what was a very dark day. Rev. McCoy was right. People of all faiths came to support the family at a time of need. It brings us all together."
June 19, 2009; 6:19 PM ET
God in Government
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