I never knew Joseph. I wasn't in his program, let alone on his team, and although we shared a campus, I had never met the eighteen-year-old young man who went to New Orleans this spring looking to do good and righteous work. I never will. We will never know what he would have done, what heights he was capable of achieving, what lives he would have touched. He died earlier today, shot down on a New Orleans street corner for who knows what cloudy reason.
I never knew Joseph Massenburg, but I wish I had. I cannot imagine what his team must be feeling right now, much less his friends, or his family. I hate that any of the Americorps family had to find out. But we are all part of the A family, and none of us will go untouched by it.
Good night, Joseph. I wish the world had known you longer, and I wish I'd known you at all.