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Parade for Peace

Poet Ron Faust ponders the killing of one person and injuring of 22 others immediately after the Super Bowl Parade and celebration.
A person adds to a memorial at Union Station for the woman murdered immediately after the Super Bowl Parade and celebration.--Photos by Kristin Scheer 2/18/24; a speaker nearby plays "Amazing Grace."
The shooting death of Lisa Lopez-Galvin shocked Kansas City and led to the movement Kansas City Strong, Kansas City United.
By Ron Faust
 
The Chiefs’ Kingdom
   went terribly wrong
Exposing contradictions
In what was a parade
   for a Super Bowl victory
Kansas City was having fun
   but it ended in tragic violence
   one woman dead and 22 shot
   Normalized as part
   of American culture
   The red shirts turned bloody
    Disbelief it could happen here
 
The use of Kingdom language
   Refers to a Biblical period
   When the Temple was built
   Where prayers to God refer
   To a Sovereign Lord having led
   Chosen people to a promised land
   Then prophets came along
      to correct corruption
      and show love as justice
      and side up with the poor
      and understand a kinder God
      and align with a better way
 
Guns in America are readily available
   A symbol and cause of violence
   A pretense to defend ourselves
   By distancing ourselves
       from the fear of others
       often a cowardly way
       to settle differences
   Death and mayhem
       Leave many in tragic pain
    Congress is not going
        To solve the problem
         Until it affects the pocketbook
      We may have to question
         our materialism and greed
         and share our resources
 
The other problem is
    Idolizing entertainment
As wonderful as football is
   It still is violent
        And permits aggression
   And influences competition
         And you might say
         Accepts patriotism
         As a right to go to war
Entertainment is often associated
   With excessive drinking
   A time to let down and go crazy
   An ultimate concern replacing
       Spiritual values
    Of seeing life as more
       than just having fun
 
Jesus perceived a Kingdom Within
  “Thy Kingdom come,
                            Thy will be done”
       More love for caring and justice
An alternative to force and guns
 
What happened in Kansas City
    Is a sobering reality of our priorities
    We are left confused and stunned
The Chiefs’ Kingdom is a nice diversion
As long as the Kingdom will come
     (Without weapons of destruction)
           With a Parade for Peace.
 
PeaceWorks KC’s Ron Faust wrote this poem 2/15/24, the day after the Chiefs held their Super Bowl victory parade, immediately followed by a mass shooting killing Lisa Lopez-Galvan and injuring 22 others. The poet adds: (On occasion in reassessing how a Parade can have a different ending … realizing mass shootings make us angry over the access to guns.) © 2024, Ron Faust, Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike 4.0 International License.

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