As we have all heard by now, tragic murders took place in the West Broward County, Florida, high school named for Marjory Stoneman Douglas. A quick internet search will tell us why this great school proudly bears Douglas‘ name. She died in 1998 at 108 years of age, but I am sure she would have heaped much scorn on our awful national madness that has now enabled the murder of American schoolchildren on an almost weekly basis.
She was a great and principled woman who researched and wrote the definitive book on the Florida Everglades in 1947, “The Everglades: River of Grass.” She then spent the rest of her life tirelessly working to protect and restore the ecosystem of south Florida. The American environmental movement‘s most important, seminal works are Rachel Carson‘s “Silent Spring,” Douglas‘ book and Aldo Leopold‘s “A Sand County Almanac.” Without these three lives and their works, there would likely have been no Earth Day, and no movement.
We are all in this together, and I fear that both the character and the environment of the United States are challenged more now than at any time since 1860. As we contemplate the awfulness of this latest act of terrorism in a school, let us also remember the brave, full-hearted example of the life of the woman for whom this school is named. Perhaps that will help us find ways to help stop the madness.