It’s a sad day in the neighborhood.
Our generation grew up watching “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood,” and in a way, Fred Rogers’ death comes at a time when our generation is facing a turning point. As we gear up for (potentially) the first war any of us will be involved in directly, the man who taught us tolerance and love during our formative years has died.
Mr. Rogers died early Thursday morning of stomach cancer that was diagnosed sometime over the holidays, said family spokesman David Newell, who played Mr. McFeely on the show. He was 74 years old.
Mr. Rogers taught us to love ourselves and to love one another, a message that might not hurt the current administration to remember as we gear up to fight a war where both sides are reacting to what they see as a lack of tolerance and love.
As we are now faced with the possibility of violence and death in the Middle East, we can no longer return to those days when Mr. Rogers could ease our biggest fear of going down the drain of the bathtub.
During the Persian Gulf War, Rogers assured our generation that no matter what, all the children would be protected and loved, “in times of war and in times of peace.”
Well, today we’re no longer children, and nobody can assure us that we will be protected from planes crashing into buildings, bioweapons or being shipped off to fight a war in Iraq. Today let’s take all take a moment to remember the safety we were promised in our childhood and the tolerance for all people Mr. Rogers taught us.
Won’t you be our neighbor?