Being handcuffed at around 80 years of age! – AP/Richard Drew
Father Berrigan was one of those icons of the civil rights/anti-war era who captured the imagination of young people, especially college kids the way Muhammad Ali, Abi Hoffman, The Black Panthers … did.
When my Significant Other read aloud that “Berrigan is dead …”, My eyes flew away from what I was engrossed in and asked, “Father Berrigan?” even though I did not know he was still alive.
Such is the pull of stories about people whose lives crossed ours even in the most marginal way when their lives’ actions in the public arena made a lot of difference – or, at least, impact ours that we never forget them or what they stood for.
I arrived early on each of the occasions of visits by Muhammad Ali and Abi Hoffman to the University of Florida’s Plaza of the Americas [quandrangle] in 1971 during the heat of the antiwar protests to listen to what they had to say – of course we all had ideas on what they would say – just as I was at the same place to listen to Senator George McGovern during the primaries in 1971 as he campaigned to represent the Democrats in the 1972 presidential elections.
Most in my generation in the States – for or against the Vietnam War – knew and will always remember Father Daniel Berrigan who, along with his brother, Father Phillip Berrigan, caused the Establishment quite some grief and both of whom, of course, came to a lot of grief in the hands of the Establishment.
I did not miss news of Hippee Abi Hoffman’s passing about a quarter century ago after I just moved back to the States nor did I miss Senator McGovern’s a few years ago even though I was living (for one year) in a town in Nigeria’s interior. Today, I mourn Father Berrigan, news that came to me a while ago in a huge city, Ibadan in Nigeria.
Such is life that certain obituaries that are important to individuals would generally not pass without being known, especially in this Information Age.
Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let Thy light perpetual shine upon him for he served you to the end by serving humanity.
His Obit. in The New York Times tells his story better than I ever really could:
Daniel J. Berrigan, Defiant Priest Who Preached Pacifism, Dies at 94
The New York Times/Daniel Lewis APRIL 30, 2016
SUNDAY, MAY 1, 2016. 4:45 p.m. [GMT]