No one can possibly know, or comprehend, the pain and suffering experienced by the family -- and the parents of young Michael Brown. All we can do, on this day of his being laid to rest, is to have compassion, to care, and to pray.
But tomorrow, begins a new chapter in all of our lives. It is the beginning of the living legacy of and for one Michael Brown. He was not a perfect young man, but neither was I growing up. He was teenager with both challenges and promise, like most teenagers. One thing we do know -- he did not get a vote on how his personal story would end. So we must all help him with that.
We must help him (and his family) to interpret, to translate, and to communicate a proper end to his life story. And the ending, must be a new beginning. Michael Brown just might become a positive beacon to and for a new generation of young people, and that would be a great thing.
My family grew up, and lives to this day, 10 minutes from Ferguson, Missouri. This is indeed personal to me.
The world will hear from me and Operation HOPE going forward, as we help others -- and the city and her people -- to chart a roadmap forward. But on this day, we simply pay respectful tribute to one Michael Brown.
Young man, you may have died in pain. But you will live forever in tribute, and aspiration too. Rainbows after storms. You cannot have a rainbow, without a storm first.
Sending deep respect and condolences to the parents and family of Mr. Michael Brown today, from me and the entire Operation HOPE family.
With Respect, Love and Light
John Hope Bryant