It was a few years ago now, Muskegon had been assaulted by some who thought their message of hate was either cute, important or would be somehow effective. Well, they were met with a quick clean up, no notoriety for their deed and a community who quickly rallied to make a clear and effective statement....hate has no home in Muskegon, in fact, Love Lives Here.
It was a rally organized by Rotary of Muskegon, but it turned out to be so much more. It was a moment of defiance in the face of people who were working to divide instead of unite. It was a gathering of people from every walk of life, cultural background, faith and economic level. In a time where we kind of all live in our own little "silo" we all came out to say no more to the spikes that try to keep us away. From being there, I remember first hand how cool it felt to just be one for a while. I saw members of the community I have never seen anywhere else. Not in the store, at the park, at an event or anything. Why was it that it took such an act of villainy and cowardly behavior to get us all to come together?
Not only did the message permeate the afternoon at Hackley Park, it carried...far and wide. To this day, you can still find "Love Lives Here" yard signs that were given out at the rally all over Muskegon County. It's a great message to see in a yard, but to those who know what's behind the sign...it's a statement that they are there to defend what's right and that they are committed to standing in the way of divisiveness and hate.
The 2019 Love Live Here event is coming up soon. In fact, September 9th at Hackley Park 5-7pm is where it takes place. We have not attained the perfection of a Utopian society just yet... it will always be a work in progress but the steps continue to be taken and as we watch Muskegon continue to grow, it's important to continue that unity and continue to bridge the gaps.
Muskegon Police Chief Jeff Lewis is a member of Rotary in Muskegon and invited me down to talk about the 2019 event. It's going to be a little bigger, with a few more things for you to do. Some food on site will help and music and dance will be part of the event as well. We caught up at the Muskegon City Commission Chambers to talk about this years event, take a listen.
Love Lives Here! Love Grows Here and Love is a part of our future here! Make sure you take some time on the 9th and head to Hackley Park to join in. We stand as one.