Sunday, June 21, 2009

Celebrating the Heroism of a Fallen Father

Stephen T. Johns, died on June 10 of this year, the victim of senseless hate and violence when James W. von Brunn, entered the Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C. intent on wreaking havoc in that place of peace. 

Johns, a security guard, was a husband and a father. He was at work providing for his family. Had it not been for this tragedy, he would be with his children, enjoying this day. Instead, they celebrated his life on Friday as they laid him to rest...

"The slaying of U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum guard Stephen T. Johns was the latest sign that discrimination and racism remain as potent as ever, ministers at the security officer's funeral said yesterday."

"About 2,000 mourners filled the pews of Ebenezer AME Church in Fort Washington to pay tribute to Johns, who was fatally wounded June 10. The guard had opened a museum door for white supremacist James W. von Brunn, 88, who then walked in with a rifle and shot him, authorities allege."

"...The Rev. John L. McCoy, senior pastor of Word of God Baptist Church in the District and the family's minister, said the museum had one more victim of hatred."

""Officer Johns now belongs to the six million-plus who perished in the Holocaust.""

"Nesse Godin, 81, one of several Holocaust survivors at the service, said Johns and the other officers would greet her and other volunteers with a kiss on the cheek and a hug each morning when they arrived."

""He was a wonderful man," she said."

"The museum was closed until 3 p.m. yesterday to allow busloads of employees and volunteers to attend the funeral. Museum officials said they were reviewing what kind of memorial to create in Johns's honor at the museum."

"Rabbi Tamara Miller, director of spiritual care at George Washington University, was in the emergency room when Johns was brought in. "I felt compelled to come here today not just as a rabbi, but as a Jewish person who gave comfort and care that was a light on what was a very dark day.""

We hope the family finds comfort in knowing that their father's sacrifice has such meaning and is appreciated so much. We can hope as well that they see that sometimes heroism is found in the everyday stuff of life. 

1 comment:

Jarie said...

Touching story and a great reminder about the heros that walk among us everyday. Happy Father's Day Rev. Britt and great sermon today. It was a timely word for me;)