Frenchmen Street is one of international fame, best known for its live music. Some call it the “locals’ Bourbon Street.” Tourists and locals alike buy replicas of the iconic blue and white street tiles bearing its name. My sister used to live there; she calls it her favorite street, not just in New Orleans, but anywhere.
On Sunday it became famous for another reason.
While I was enjoying a leisurely brunch celebrating graduations, mothers, and friends, a celebration across town was ending in violence. The kind of violence we are becoming trained to fear when attending major sporting events or festivals (all of which have tightened security). But not at an event little larger than a neighborhood block party.
An event that I, a local, didn’t even know was happening — until I heard what was happening there. From my panicked mother, eight states away.
And that makes me wonder: Where were the mothers of those people who thought it was acceptable to open fire on innocent men, women, and children? Were they frantically trying to reach their children as well?
And do these people with guns honor their mothers? Is this their idea of a celebration? When they fled the scene of their crimes, were they running home to their mothers, to take them to dinner, or to the store to buy a card?
Mother’s Day isn’t about the flowers, dinners or cards. It’s about respect. Respect for the woman who brought you into this world, respect for the woman who raised you. It’s about making those women proud. That means having respect for yourself and respect for mankind and human life.
The people who did this have no respect. Not for us, and, I dare say, not for their mothers.
Rachel Kostelec writes about New Orleans for NolaVie.