Sunday, May 13, 2007

A mom to include in your prayers today

Chicago Fire Dept. Capt. Annette Nance-Holt is suffering through her first Mother's Day without her son, 16-year-old Blair Holt. I wonder if it's any comfort for her to know that he died a hero, and that his last words were, "Tell my mom and dad I love them."

Last Thursday, an expelled gangbanger got onto a CTA bus and opened fire on his former classmates. Blair Holt, an honor student and all around good kid, pushed Tiara Reed down in her seat. Because of his quick thinking, Tiara was hit in the foot and will recover fully. Blair was struck in the abdomen and died.

Blair did not know the boy who shot him.

His mother said Blair, "was the kind of kid that if I could have gone shopping and picked one out, it would have still been him. He was my best friend."

I don't know how she will get through today. But once she does, Captain Holt and her husband, Officer Ronald Holt of the Chicago Police Dept.'s gang crimes unit, have to face June 1, the day that would have been Blair's 17th birthday.

What has happened to this family, and to this city, is a sin. There are too many guns and obviously they are still too easy to obtain. There are economic issues that make life appear so hopeless to some of us that gang life seems like a viable option. Our attitude toward one another has become so coarse that murdering your classmates seems like acceptable recourse. But those problems existed last week and will exist next week.

Today, as I honor my own mother, I'm going to concentrate my prayers and thoughts and energy on Capt. Annette Nance-Holt, too.

The International Association of Black Professional Fire Fighters has set up a fund in memory of Blair Holt. Contributions are being accepted at:

The Blair Holt Scholarship Fund
Seaway National Bank
P.O. Box 19522
Chicago, IL 60619
Attn: Personal Banking

1 comment:

  1. When will it end? One more innocent life lost because of the darkness of gangs, poverty, anger and hate. My heart aches for Blair's family.