Even though he’s been dead since 2003, Mister Rogers has never been more needed than he is right now.
I’m sure I’m not the only parent struggling to find the right words to talk with young children about the horrific attack in Manchester that killed 22 people and injured dozens more. Many of those hurt were kids, out enjoying an Ariana Grande concert. A perfectly innocuous evening meant to create a countless Instagram photo ops and a permanent memory of childhood joy.
Instead, it turned into a night that will haunt many families forever.
Today happens to be the 50th anniversary of the debut of “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood”, a show that espoused good character and encouraged decency and goodwill better than just about any show in the history of ever. As I was thinking about what I would say to my girls about the Manchester attack, I remembered the PSA Mister Rogers put out after 9/11. As usual, this gem of a man knew exactly what to say.
Hug your kids, folks. And keep ’em close.