Rosa Parks#039; death marks the end of an era

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 29, 2005

The death of Mrs. Rosa Parks this past week has brought an end to an era. The quiet life of this pioneer of the Civil Rights Movement changed a nation. A calm &#8220No” sparked a chain of reactions that led to a much more resounding &#8220Yes” by a nation and its government. Americans all across the nation were inspired by the quiet strength of this graceful lady.

While one generation was riding the bus with Mrs. Parks when she refused to relinquish her seat, another generation later marched for the civil rights of African Americans and for all Americans who were not treated equally. The next generation watched her age with tranquil dignity, which inspired everyone who met her. And, today's generation will sadly mourn her passing. This generation will only have still photos and short film clips that exude the fortitude of this woman. Will anyone be able to take her place? Never. This is the saddest reality of all.

However, today's generation still needs a hero, a heroine, an exemplary picture of what true courage is. Will they remember Mrs. Rosa Parks? Will today's children ever truly comprehend the bravery needed to stay seated on a bus that could make them stand and move about at will?

The fact that they will not have to live through that experience at all says that her life was not in vain. In contrast, that is the whole point. It is astounding what one individual can do to an entire nation. Like ripples in a lake when a single pebble is thrown in, one person, Mrs. Rosa Parks, changed the course of history.

This Sunday, Oct. 30, at 6 p.m., a memorial service for Mrs. Rosa Parks will be held at Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church on Fort Dale Road. It will be sponsored by the Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church Butler County Civic League. Everyone is invited to come and pay tribute to this great lady of our time.