This post isn't related to pit bulls in any direct way, but we just can't ignore the vigil that honored the four slain OPD officers and redefined our community in such important ways today. Our work has been drawing us deeper and deeper into East Oakland .. Like moths to a flame, maybe. Our shelter is here, and so are 'our' dogs and their people and the pressures that affect them. Where else would we fit?
Just when things seem at their worst - foreclosures on every block, displaced families and abandoned pets, escalating shelter numbers, and the horror of shootings just up the road that rattled residents to the core - Despite all that, in the two hours it took to hold this vigil, we fell in love with our city all over again. Like, the "I get it" kind of love.
The city leaders called on the crowd to commit to making this town a better place, and everyone there seemed to stand a little taller and look around at each other the way you do when you want to remember the occasion. But this was what got me: A pastor asked us to raise our hands high and signal a victory for the four police officers who died. Why? because from here on out, their deaths will mark a collective decision to move forward with renewed hope. Victory, indeed.
Suddenly our group's little role in creating a better Oakland takes on a new tone that I hadn't considered before. We left the vigil feeling more at home in our adopted city then we ever did before the shootings. Thank you, Sgt. Mark Dunakin, Officer John Hege, Sgt. Dan Sakai and Sgt. Ervin Romans - and thank you Oakland.
PHOTOS: Vigil for OPD Officers