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Annual peace march 'brings attention to what needs attention'

Aug 3, 2017 Ron Howard, Riverton

Editor:

Our third annual Community Peace March took place July 18 in Riverton.

I wanted to take a moment and thank all those who participated and those who helped to make this a success.

We had roughly 100 people in attendance and lots of spaghetti for after the march.

I'd like to say thank you to Father Hiep Nguyen of St. Margaret's Church, Chesie Lee, Johnna Nunez for her generous donation of food, Cora Durgin and Family, Melisa Carillo and Family, Alfreda Mills, Shelley Mbonu and the staff and clients at the Center of Hope, Chief Murphy of the Riverton Police Department, Officer Cooper of the Wind River Police Department, Hope Abeyta, Darrah Perez, Gail Ridgely for bringing the Sand Creek Staff to lead the way, Matt Wright for the sound, and Jane Juve for her guidance and suggestions. I would also like to thank Legacy Molding in Riverton for their generous donation last year that made this year's march possible.

This being our third march, I'm still learning how to be a better organizer. It never could have happened without the help of those mentioned above.

The credit belongs to them and to those who walked with us. I'm also grateful that my children and my wife, Aimee, could be there.

The purpose of this event is, and always will be, to remember and honor Stallone Trosper and Sonny Goggles, who, tragically, were shot at the Center of Hope on July 18, 2015.

The morale and attitudes of the community have improved since then, or so it seems, so we also take this time to celebrate the healing that has taken place.

I don't presume to speak for the families of these two men, but I do think I can safely say that the pain of that day still lingers in the community.

People still talk about it and reflect on what they were doing when they heard the horrible news of the shooting.

Some have criticized this march and questioned its validity, so I'm always glad to answer when asked. The reason we march is because it brings attention to that which needs attention.

It solidifies the community for a common cause, and it shows that we support peace, tolerance and a safe place for our children to live.

Were it not for people marching, there are many things that we take for granted now that may not have come to fruition when they did.

Women's suffrage, for instance, equal rights and even the G.I. Bill, believe it or not, were all products of people standing up and protesting peacefully through marches.

Harry Belafonte said in a 1963 protest in Washington D.C. that marching is "one of the greatest weapons of a democracy." Whether people agree with the message or not, marches are very powerful, and they are to be applauded.

The act of marching reaffirms that the Constitution is alive and well in America, and I am proud to have worn the uniform defending it.

The mission of our Community Peace March will evolve to include other projects throughout the year, and it will welcome to any community member who wishes to participate.

It is a worthy cause, and I'm proud to be a part of it. Thanks again, Fremont County

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2017-09-19