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Letter: Citizens can’t remain silent about injustice

Citizens can’t remain silent about injustice

Independence Day and Elie Wiesel’s passing – odd that they should cross paths – a celebration of liberty and justice coupled with the death of a man who bore witness to one of the greatest denials of liberty and justice to man. Wiesel said, “I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation … Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented … When human lives are endangered, when human dignity is in jeopardy … wherever men or women are persecuted because of their race, religion or political views, that place must, at that moment, become the center of the universe.”

The center of the universe now swirls around Baton Rouge and Minneapolis. There, this great nation teeters at the precipice of dark night. There the value of each life, of our creed, and of our national integrity, hangs in the balance. I implore every leader, whether civic, political or religious, to live up to the trust placed in you. I implore every citizen to cling to truth and proclaim it – demand it – from ourselves and those in authority.

Wiesel, though gone, still speaks truly: “even on the edge of the abyss … it is possible to be free and strengthen the ideals of freedom.”

Let not one of us cause nor be indifferent to the suffering of others. “There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest it.”

Jane Burgio

Orchard Park

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