What happened this weekend in Charlottesville is incomprehensible, but it is real. I am still in shock from everything that happened, but this blog post is one way I am trying to process and share what our city experienced over the last 72 hours.
When we first found out we were moving here, some of my friends had never even heard of it. Now the whole world knows about this town and for horrible reasons. We have lived here for 2.5 months, and in that short time, I can tell you I see acts of love and racial reconciliation every day. However, there is a deep divide throughout the country right now and a particularly deep-seated history here. As we work to confront this issue as a city, Charlottesville has become the battleground from which to wage this war.
The acts of love I’ve witnessed aren’t nearly as newsworthy or blatant as acts of hate and white supremacy. The wrong side clearly had a presence here over the weekend, but there is a persisting presence of reconciliation. There is SO MUCH work to be done and our country has SO FAR to go, but please stand on the frontlines with us as we figure out what that looks like moving forward. This can NOT happen again. This can NOT be our future.
It has been a sobering and devastating time. We live .5 mile from downtown and the site where a car plowed through pedestrians, and even less than that from where they later found the car. Helicopters hovered over our apartment from morning until night all weekend. To say this hit close to home is an understatement. Nathan worked Saturday and was on standby through Sunday evening. The whole hospital followed an emergency protocol to deal with the large number of casualties.
This morning (Monday), for the first time since Friday, I left the apartment on my own. I took my usual walking route and captured the below images around town. Needless to say, my normal route will never be the same. It goes through the main areas of conflict, as you’ll see below. These are unedited images and all from today, August 14. It is my hope that these photos capture the aftermath but also the love that fights just as hard in this town every day.
The sun still rises in Cville, and there is work to be done.
Thanks to everyone who has reached out – calls, texts, emails, etc. – to me and Nathan over the past few days. Please continue to keep the whole city in your thoughts and prayers. ❤