Township of Monroe

The Mayor's Column

Together We Stand

November 29, 2018

By: Mayor Gerald W. Tamburro

October 27, 2018. A normal, quiet Saturday morning in Squirrel Hill. A beautiful, tree lined neighborhood of brick houses and generations of families, firmly nestled in the hills of Pittsburgh. The Tree of Life Synagogue began services as they would have on any other day. Just another peaceful Saturday morning, until it wasn’t.

The peacefulness of this day was shockingly and violently interrupted, by hate.

When I saw the news, all I could think was not again, not in another place of worship, not more innocent victims.

When tragedies such as this occur in our schools and places of worship, we cling to one another for comfort and support.

Following this sad day in America, we gathered together for an interfaith service at the Senior Center in Monroe. Almost 700 of our residents, friends and neighbors, seeking to make sense of the senseless tragedy in Pittsburgh.  Rabbis from four different congregations here in Monroe, as well as clergy members from the catholic parish and the coptic orthodox congregation.

I shared with this solemn crowd, that I found it difficult to express in words the sadness and remorse I was feeling. 

Our hearts are broken for the Tree of Life Synagogue congregation. Husbands and wives, brothers, a university research specialist, a doctor, a dentist, the synagogue greeter and a 97-year-old family matriarch.  All active and faithful members of their religious community, gone in the blink of an eye. Taken by a person consumed with hatred against the Jewish people.

Anti-Semitism, hate, bigotry, and racism have no home in American today.  Bullying, intolerance, intimidation, and ignorance can not be part of the fabric of our community either. This is not who we are, and it is not the example we want to set for our children.

Each of us as caring, compassionate, respectful human beings have a moral obligation to speak up, speak out, and speak against hatred in all its forms.

We cannot let this become the new normal. We are better than this. All of us must renew our commitment to ending the hate on the internet, in our homes, our schools, our communities, and our nation.

I am a member of the Mayors United against Anti-Semitism Initiative, along with other U.S. Mayors and municipal leaders from all 50 states and the District of Columbia, representing nearly 90 million people to join this effort against anti-Semitism.

Together, we must publicly condemn prejudice, hatred and discrimination perpetrated against all people. We have an obligation as citizens to BE THE CHANGE. Not just in the face of the horrific display of hatred in Pittsburgh, but always when we witness discrimination.

As some of you know, I served in our military. I believed then, as I still do today, that we fought for our freedoms, including the freedom of religion and that each of us is created equal. Racism and religious persecution are the opposite of these values.

Our diversity, as a country and as a community, is not a weakness, but rather our greatest strength.

I hope you stand with me in this fight, because anti-Semitism, violence, and any form of hate has no place here in Monroe Township.

Wishing you a peaceful and healthy holiday season and a joyous New Year!

Previous Columns

Celebrating 30 Years of Excellence at Monroe Township Library

Keeping Our Community Safe- A Collaborative Effort

Proudly Honoring the Veterans in Our Community

Together We Stand

Fall Gets Festive with Monroe's Octoberfest

New Director A Welcome Addition to Monroe's Senior Center

Monroe Taxpayers Receive Additional State Funding Thanks to Community Effort

A Salute to the American Spirit in Monroe

Monroe Township Bids Farewell to Dedicated Employees

A Library Worth Reading About in Monroe Township

Cooperation and Communication are the Keystones to A Safe Community

EMS: Lifesaving Care When You Need It

Monroe is Recognized Statewide as an Environmental Steward

Looking Forward

Rolling Out Our Department of Transportation’s Services

In Times of Emergency, Monroe Township is Prepared for the Worst

Why I Joined Other Mayors…

Police Earn a Badge of Honor with Monroe’s Safest City Ranking

Cultural Arts Presents Free Concerts in the Park

Introductions in Order for Councilwoman Miriam Cohen

Fiscal Responsibility Leads to No Increase in Municipal Tax Rate

Taking The Lead from A Homegrown Leader

A Bittersweet Sendoff for Wayne Hamilton

Grandparent’s Day Out Was A Success

Mayor Tamburro Recognizes Retiring Leaders

Grandparent's Day Out

Community Cares Thanksgiving

Monroe Township Library

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