What are we going to do?

A few nights ago I went to a candlelight vigil for all the people killed and wounded in the last episodes of domestic terrorism carried out by deranged people and white supremacists who had access to weapons of war and who no doubt felt that they had been given permission to commit these acts by the rhetoric of one Donald J. Trump, who unfortunately fell into the presidency of this country for reasons we won’t go into now.

The vigil took place on the Downtown Mall in Charlottesville (Virginia), at a lovely evening hour when it was just beginning to get dusky. Candles wrapped on tinfoil to catch the wax drippings were given to anyone who didn’t have their own candle. About 150 people gathered in front of the Free Speech Wall to hold their candles and remain silent while the names of the dead were spoken; each name had a couple of minutes time for people to reflect, pray or mourn, whatever they felt like doing. There were a lot of folks in the group you would have seen in the anti-war demonstrations of the 1960s and ‘70s, older now, gentled by time, but still out there. There were also a few young people in their twenties. A mixed racial group. It was a lovely gathering in that soft early dusk. After all the names were read — and a small ensuing silence — everyone turned to their nearest neighbor and shook hands. Some people hugged. I wanted to hug the entire group. I am struck by the sad thought that these people are lambs, confronting a terrible reality that requires the power and vicious reaction of lions in order to overcome. What are we going to do?

Anita Whitney

Arcadia

Medicare counseling dates set

Seniors with concerns about Medicare and other health insurance options can receive free insurance counseling in Arcadia. SHINE (Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders) counselors are now providing free, unbiased Medicare counseling at Goodwill (1701 E. Oak St.) and the All Faiths Food and Resource Center (1021 E. Oak St.).

Counseling is available at both sites on Aug. 15, Aug. 29, Sept. 12 and Sept. 26. Goodwill will host morning counseling sessions from 9:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m., and All Faiths will host afternoon counseling from 3-6 p.m. Appointments are not required, but are recommended. Additional counseling sites can be found on the SHINE website: www.floridashine.org.

Currently celebrating its 40th year of service, Area Agency on Aging for Southwest Florida is a nonprofit serving Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Glades, Hendry, Lee and Sarasota counties.

Kirsten O’Donnell

Director of communications, Area Agency on Aging for Southwest Florida

Fort Myers

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