Three bearers of hope


I am 83 years old and retired. I spent 17 years practicing law and almost four decades as a judge serving children and their families. The work was rewarding but not always successful. Still, I feel lucky and grateful that I chose what were the right jobs for me.

Our Juvenile Court and Family Court judges work in a society where, unbelievably, too many see corporations as people and disadvantaged people as chattel.

Many of those in our country who campaign on themes of “Children are our most important asset” ignore, or even neglect and abuse, our children on the day after election.

However, I find hope in many of this generation’s judges, private citizens and those well-qualified caseworkers and service providers who devote their hearts, lives and skill to those children.

These are the people we must honor; they are as important to our safety, freedom and survival as are our military and law-enforcement officers.

Cindy Lederman and Jeri Beth Cohen are my examples of this generation’s nationally and internationally recognized judges whose research and innovative

programs have improved the lives of many millions of neglected, abused and drug-addicted children and their caretakers.

Berta Blecke is my example of those rare and powerful citizen volunteers who initiate programs and bring public support and resources to needy children — programs for which they do all the work and we judges get the credit! I offer my poem of anger and hope:

Blessing the Children

Berta, Cindy and Jeri Beth

I dream. My gray spring aura

overcasts the Everglades.

Air of feudal-like greed

would kill this swampy Eden.

Now warm, wet air rises,

expands, turns slowly toward the sea,

blossoms skyward,

and becomes three, moist, exquisite cumuli.

Their rain, their milk, dissolves the killer air.

They nurture, enliven, give first joy

to the frail young life below.

These are the three, free, heroic

daughters of my dream.

These are the ever-giving daughters

I never had, you know,

The daughters I cherish so!

Bill Gladstone, Delray Beach

Read more Speak Up stories from the Miami Herald

  • Public Insight Network

    Gun-free zones can be defenseless targets

    It is about time that society recognizes that gun-free zones mean that, besides law enforcement, the only person with a gun is a criminal who has a multitude of targets unable to fight back. There is great truth to the NRA slogan, “Only a good guy with a gun can stop a bad guy with a gun.”

  • Public Insight Network

    Educators meant to teach, not shoot

    It’s highly unlikely that an armed teacher would be in the right place at the right time to intervene with an armed assailant. And teachers are hired to educate, not shoot people. Many schools have armed resource officers (Miami-Dade has the school police), and having armed teachers is no guarantee that students could be protected from an Adam Lanza or Dylan Klebold.

  • MIA soars as an economic engine

    Miami International Airport has long been Miami-Dade County’s No. 1 economic engine. As a public enterprise fund, MIA generates nearly $33 billion in positive economic impact for our community, supports one out of every four local jobs and drives commerce and trade at no cost to local taxpayers.

Miami Herald

Join the

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category