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The Never-Again Generation

They’re holding us elders accountable

       Generation by generation, civilization by civilization, kids have tested the faith of their elders. How safe can the world be in the hands of longhairs and fades, pink-hairs and Mohawks, Gen-Xers, Millennials and iGeners?
      In our time, we elders are testing the faith of our children and grandchildren.
      The Never-Again generation tells us we’ve failed them — and the larger world entrusted to us. They don’t buy our excuses. If this is the world made by realism, they say by their actions, let’s give idealism a chance. 
      We hear them everywhere. Across the nation, they stepped out of school for 17 minutes on March 14, the one-month anniversary of the massacre at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School, to honor the 17 dead. Their surge of organized enthusiasm is dominating the news. Even the day after a student shooter opened fire here in Chesapeake Country, the Never-Again Kids kept the attention of the papers, channels and social media.
       This Saturday, March 24, a half-million Never-Againers March for Our Lives in Washington, D.C., supported by hundreds of sister marches across the country.
      Organized, outspoken and omnipresent, the kids have caught our attention. How can we help but listen? Especially if the kids asking are kids we know? For they are, of course, all kids we know.
      The force of that principle hit me full on when I learned that Mackenzie Boughey is organizing the Annapolis March for Our Lives.
      We’ve known Mackenzie since her birth. We know her parents, and we know her grandparents. All three generations — including Mackenzie and her mother Heather — have written for Bay Weekly. First in our pages — back in 1993, when we were three months old — was maternal grandfather Bill Burton, the fishing legend who came to us just retired from the Baltimore Evening Sun.
         The kids we know are growing into people of moral conscience and action. That’s just what we wanted. So how can we not listen?
       We have listened, and we’ve filled our pages with them, so you can listen, too. 
       Shelby Conrad, a young writer not many years older than Mackenzie, tells us why Chesapeake Country students are taking to the streets to March for Our Lives this Saturday. We hope you’ll hear what they have to say, for it is their very lives they’re asking us to save. Perhaps you’ll turn out to hear them in person at 11am at Lawyers Mall. 
       This is Shelby’s first of what we hope are many ­stories for Bay Weekly.
       Young people of just about Shelby’s age are rallying on behalf of other causes we hold dear, if not quite so dear as our children’s lives. For the Bay’s sake, our new writer Bill Sells tells us in Skipping the Beach to Shovel Shells, college kids from all over the country are foregoing the traditional hedonism of spring break to help The Chesapeake Bay Foundation save the Bay.
       Kids younger still are showing that same kind of fiber in Edgewater. There girls from kindergarten to fourth grade are forming Maryland’s first all-girl Cub Scout pack. Their motivation is opportunity. They want to be able to achieve the same ranks and honors as their male counterparts. In some cases, that means beating their brothers to Eagle Scout. Kathy Knotts, the mother of a boy Cub Scout, tells us that story.
        Brother and sister Frank Radosevic and Teresa Schrodel were taught young to work together by their parents, William and Annamaria Radosevic. This year marks the Golden Anniversary for the couple and their business Medart Galleries. Their story, told by Linda Hubbard, starts in a chance meeting to rival a Hollywood movie romance.
       On a last note, in this week’s paper you’ll read about a timely heroine of an entirely other generation: Marjorie Stoneman Douglas. Marjorie, the namesake of the Florida high school whose students are leading the Never-Again movement, was born in 1890 and lived until 1998, an activist to the end. In causes from removing exotic bird feathers from ladies’ hats to saving the Everglades, “Marjorie was not about to be deterred.” Marjorie is introduced by Chesapeake Country neighbor Louise Dunlap, whose late husband, Joe Browder, goaded the older woman from writing to activism.
        May you find enjoyment and inspiration in our pages this week.