One year later: Trayvon Martin still gone, Sanford marches on

One year later: Trayvon Martin still gone, Sanford marches on…

One year later: Trayvon Martin still gone, Sanford marches on…

Hard to believe it’s already been a year. I’ve lived here in Apopka for 5 and 1/2 years now, and I’ve managed properties over a wide portion of Central Florida since I arrived here. The Retreat at Twin Lakes was just another of this area’s endless number of townhome communities for a long time- nice places, but nothing special.

For the past year, though, The Retreat at Twin Lakes has simply been known as “that gated community in Sanford where Trayvon Martin was killed”- and I doubt many folks could’ve predicted how the last year was going to play out. I know I wouldn’t have been able to do so.

Needing but one name, quite frankly, “Trayvon” became at once a martyr and a rallying cry for thousands (if not millions) of folks local, national and international alike. “Justice For Trayvon!” has been yelled and chanted everywhere. Both Arizona Iced Tea and Skittles candy have been big sellers wherever one’s taken up his cause and sported a limited edition “I am Trayvon Martin” t-shirt, “Justice For Trayvon” memorial hoodie or matching “Trayvon Martin Foundation” ball cap/sweat shirt combo.

Yes, the entrepreneurial spirit lives on in Sanford and elsewhere.

We’ve seen Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and the New Black Panther Party come and go- and I share the sentiments of many that seeing them go was the better of the two. They could return in a few months, though- as our area prepares for George Zimmerman‘s trial (and in my humble opinion, his aquittal).

I’ve attended forums on race relations sponsored by the Orlando Sentinel and others- looking to add my experiences in growing up in Birmingham to the discourse and seeking to bring all to a common understanding of each other. I’ve spoken out when our lieutenant governor brought a task force to town to examine Florida’s “stand your ground” law, and in the process made no friends within the Trayvon Martin camp- as my views of the law and their views of it bear significant differences.

Cecil Smith has been hired as the next man to lead the great men and women of the Sanford Police Department, and he’ll be in town today. I pray his hiring will serve to further the healing of the community- and that Chief Smith’s first day on the job April 1st will be the first of many enjoyable and successful ones for the Sanford Police Department under his leadership.

Are things healing around here? Absolutely. But we have to be careful, for our scabs are just now starting to itch.

One year later: Trayvon Martin still gone, Sanford marches on…


About Dennis Burgess

Dennis B. Burgess Realtor in Orlando, FL ORRA Vice-chairman of Strategic Planning/Secretary ORRA/FR Boards of Directors Empire Network Realty 6000 S. Rio Grande Ave., #104 Orlando, FL 32803 Cell: 205-445-4755 Office: 407-440-3798 Twitter: @orlrentals Turning vacant into occupied, and "houses" into "homes"
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