TRIBUTE: In a climate where some would prefer to pit law enforcement against citizens, Ridgewood Police Chief John Ward was honored Monday by the Ridgewood and Glen Rock Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Committee for 35 years of community service “through partnership and collaboration.”
The Rev. Jan Phillips presented Ward with the community service plaque of appreciation during the 33rd annual interfaith celebration of both towns in remembrance of Dr. King, which included a march through downtown and a service.
The committee, made up of 11 volunteers from both municipalities, noted on the plaque that “law and order exists for the purpose of establishing justice” and that “justice is the birthright of every human being.”
It fit with the theme of the day: “Standing on the Side of Justice.”
Ward emphasized that communities achieve justice when they pursue it together and not against one another.
“The only reason we have had the success we have is by making the effort to make regular trust deposits,” he told CLIFFVIEW PILOT . “That’s how we get through hard times and make things better.
“Acknowledge the past, yes, but don’t live in it,” Ward said, echoing his comments before more than 125 religious and community leaders, government officials and others at Ridgewood United Methodist Church. “Remember that differences make us unique and give us value. Trust in one another.
“Have the ‘imagine-we-can-do-this’ attitude and you can’t lose.”
Those beliefs were underscored by visiting Rev. James Alexander Forbes Jr., of Riverside Church in Manhattan, who said he is troubled by “the anger all across the land” and “the use of violence to show displeasure.”
Dr. King would have protested, too, but peacefully, Forbes said.
“Be angry, but do not sin,” he said, quoting the Bible. Build up instead of breaking down.”
PHOTO: Courtesy Ridgewood and Glen Rock Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Committee
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