Clarksville came together today, to recognize and celebrate the lives of two of it’s citizens. We came together representatives of every race, creed, and walk of life, united by our mutual respect, friendships, and love for Juan Julian Vasquez, Sr and Thomas Leon Vasquez. Though their lives were cut short, they left their indelible mark on the city and the community they loved.
Clarksville should take steps to memorialize Juan Julian Vasquez Sr and the contributions he made towards the unity of our city during his tenure as the vice chairman of the Human Relations Commission.
A fitting way would be for the city to come up with, and enact, a comprehensive ordinance, to protect the civil rights every resident of this city.
Each person should by law, be equal in our society, without regard to their race, creed, religion, national origin, sexual orientation or identification. Discrimination based on any of these criteria, should be a violation of the law.
Clarksville should strive to become a society which does not tolerate discrimination in any form, for any reason, the city that Juan Julian Vasquez, Sr would have hoped for us to be.
I did not have an opportunity to personally speak with the Vasquez family at the funeral, so I will deliver the message I would have given them here. For the friends and family of Juan and Thomas, the pain you now feel will fade with time, the love and joy that they brought into your lives never will.
A fitting memorial. Yet here now a year after their deaths and the city is still without that civil rights protection resolution. What shameful reflection upon Juan’s beloved city. It’s time to advocate for this worthwhile initiative.