Give peace, and kids a chance
There was a lot of horn-honking going on at the corner of War Memorial and Prospect a week ago today.
It had nothing to do with traffic.
The honking was in response to four Peoria Height girls sitting on the retaining wall at the intersection waving signs that said, “Honk 4 peace,” and “Give peace a chance.”
The four girls — Britney Brand, 17, Breezy Thomas, 14, Ashley Simpson, 15, and Katie Strevils, 15 — provide a really refreshing view of our local youth.
It seems lately all we have been hearing is bad news about our youth.
We had a riot involving youth at Steamboat Days and then again at the end of the Heart of Illinois Fair.
With news like this bombarding us constantly, it is so very easy to fall into a jaundiced view of our youth.
But, we really have a lot of good young people of whom to be proud.
The night before the four Peoria Heights girls decided to demonstrate for peace, Mayor Jim Ardis welcomed dozens of young people to meet him at the podium before the Peoria City Council meeting.
These young people made up the Mayor’s Youth Summer Job Program.
Their faces were bright.
The stories told of them spoke of an outstanding group of young people who bring honor to our city.
There are a lot of good and productive youth in Peoria.
We should all be thankful for them.
Those four young Peoria Heights ladies are a case in point. They sat on the wall for hours trying to put across a point of view.
“We’re trying to set an example, and show there can be peace,” Simpson said.
“We’re fighting war, segregation and racism.”
Talk about a worthwhile goal for young people. The girls were thrilled by the honking response they received.
“War has been on our minds for a long time,” Thomas said.
“John Lennon inspired us to do this.”
Simpson said a lot of their peers feel the same way they do about the war, segregation and racism. She said they have just not yet stood up for their beliefs.
Give peace a chance, they said.
If more young people would follow the example of these Peoria Heights girls and stand for something, rather than trying to tear something down, we would have a much better community.