Please Mr. President. This Is a Plea. A Hope. A Wish.

  • Emily Dattilo

    Emily Dattilo

  • President Donald Trump meets last week with first responders and private citizens who helped during the mass shootingin Las Vegas.

    President Donald Trump meets last week with first responders and private citizens who helped during the mass shootingin Las Vegas. Associated Press Photo

By Emily Dattilo
Guest columnist
Posted10/9/2017 1:00 AM

This is a plea for change in light of the Las Vegas tragedy. A generation is growing up watching as horrific events become more frequent. These tragedies have taken too many people and affected so many more.

This poem for the president is from an 18-year-old John Hersey High School graduate who doesn't want to live in fear anymore.


Please Mr. President.

this is a plea. a hope. a wish

we rise each morning

Americans in every city

the newspapers scream

black headlines

thousands of letters smashed together

forming sentences of horror

deaths and injuries

numbers. numbers.

but these aren't numbers.

these are people.

people we cannot replace

people we never should have lost

people with families, friends, jobs

Please Mr. President.

we have so much ahead of us

our flag of red, white, and blue

our people embody this spirit

we are a land of wonderful opportunity

innovation, creativity, power

but how can this continue

we cannot be our best living in fear

fear that manifests itself in the unexpected

fear that turns to disbelief and regret

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Please Mr. President.

these tragic events are far too frequent

something must be done

there's hesitancy now

a foreboding sense of caution

we don't know what is coming

I can remember

a different time

people didn't worry about movie theaters

malls. big cities. school. concerts.

that's different now.

but it doesn't have to be.

Please Mr. President

there are little kids growing up

protected for now by innocence

each proud to be American

but children are wise and wondering

they ask questions

parents fumble for an answer

they shouldn't have to taint young minds

with horrors such as these

Please Mr. President

this is a plea. a hope. a wish.


something must be done

these aren't numbers

these are people.

Emily Dattilo, of Arlington Heights, is a freshman at Miami University of Ohio in Oxford, Ohio, studying psychology and English. This poem previously appeared in The New York Times on Oct. 3.

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