I spent a good part of my night last night crying for this awful tragedy.
I knew David and his son Nathan as well as both suspects Renell and Tulius.
I specifically remember Renell through the years as a young boy-full of awareness, intelligence and light.
Renell like many young men his age-didn't finish his education-possibly because of the crumbling state of our educational system and because he simply did not have enough motivation or support to realize the tremendous impact that a lack of education can have on a person's life.
He went the way of fatherhood at a very early age like many of our local kids.
From a distance-I watched him struggle with both this financial family responsibility, young partnership-relationship struggles with the young woman who he had a child with-as well as that of low self-esteem-though he was an incredibly handsome and smart young man.
He went from job to job trying "to find his way" and support his family.
From where I stood-he was the "best of the best" struggling with the "worst of the worst" deep-seated problems of our Islands.
Some very stupid and deeply tragic chooses were made and now many good people's lives have been drastically altered and changed–filled with pain and suffering. He will now have to take responsibility for his bad choices.
I feel responsible in some way as an adult and community member.
Renell is an example of "our children" crying out to us to help them find their way.
We can no longer wait for our government to develop programs to help our children with the 21st. century challenges esp. here in the Virgin Islands! If there is EVER a "wailing call" to the community to finally take the lead in helping our children-especially teens–it is NOW.
The only way that we can make any sense of this horrible "St. John Family Tragedy" -to use this pain for good-is to listen and respond to our children so this cannot /does not happen again.
This morning-after a night of deep sadness- I am making a personal committment to initiating programs for our pre-teens and teens in helping them develop emotional self-awareness, responsible behavior, self-esteem, as well as teaching them skills in the service industries that make up the bulk of good jobs on St. John.
I invite anyone/all organizations who feel the same way to come together with me and finally respond to the needs of our "youth".
It is the only way that we can move through the depth of our sadness and pain for all of the victims of this deep and sad community tragedy.
We need to pray from deep within our hearts for the courage to resolve our internal conflicts as different community members and UNITE our energies and forces to the great needs of our Island.
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