Obituary: McKeesport PA (1795 – ????)


I am an American.

I was born in an all American town that was vital and full of hope for the future. Sadly, now that town is a shell of its former glory. It is a perfect example of what happens when poor leadership and a collective inability to adapt to change run rampant. My town provided steel for a nation being built and a country that defended freedom around the world. Now it sits nearly deserted next to the two rivers that flow past the remains of its former glory. The most prevalent sound in many of its formerly beautiful neighborhoods is gunfire and the most horrible sight is the dilapidated houses that in many cases have been stripped of the only thing of value left – the plumbing. More horrible still are the lives that are forever impacted by this tragedy.

It was only a generation ago that this proud city provided jobs and education for its citizens. Immigrants had come from all over the world to pull the ore from the ground in the surrounding hills and shovel the raw materials into the furnaces that created the iron and steel. These people built America as surely as the many other communities that made up this growing country. Our fathers went off to fight the wars against tyranny and our mothers took their places in the mills and factories. When the war ended, they continued to build and they brought my generation into the waiting world.

Growing up, we waved our little flags as the parade marched by. Gold Star Mothers and families were treated with a reverence that was unmistakable un virtually untouchable. We were so important the Senator Kennedy came to town for a visit on his way to the Presidency. We all cried when he was killed and his statue still stands near the empty waterfront.

I suppose there are a lot of reasons why the decay started. From the time we were kids, people started taking God out of schools and public places. As we grew, government began to be the enemy and rebellion was in the air everywhere you looked. Abortion for convenience replaced abstinence and self-control. Everyone was suddenly more worried about their rights and not enough about their responsibilities. Unions fought companies and political division was bolstered by crime and bribery. Greed on everyone’s part fueled the fires of disaster. The end came with more of a whimper rather than a bang. We drilled for disasters all through school but no one remotely predicted the ultimate disaster that would bring the city to her knees and ultimately to this ignoble state.

This divisive cancer kills cities. But truthfully, left unchecked, it kills whole regions and even countries. We still have a chance America. We can put aside the bitterness and reject those who profit from our division. They are not interested in an America where unfettered growth can once more flourish. They are only interested in their own power and controlling you. The city I grew up in had every advantage. Physically, spiritually, financially, opportunity, location, everything. Yet within one generation, it is nearly without hope and should stand as a stark warning to America. This can happen anywhere.

Mister Mac

2 thoughts on “Obituary: McKeesport PA (1795 – ????)

  1. It is sad to see the de-evolution of our country. Growing up in Scouts and living near either Navy or Marine bases gave me an appreciation for the sacrifices made to ensure our liberty; enlisting in the Navy and being at the pointy end of the spear made me appreciate these freedoms all the more. Now we see a majority who either don’t realize or don’t care that we are at war with an enemy more dangerous because of their ability to blend in until they choose to strike.

  2. I currently live in McKeesport. I was born in McKeesport hospital…but grew up further down the river in Clairton. I’ve lived in several states before moving back here. The city’s decline is primarily due to economics. The ‘decline of morals’ argument is just a symptom of the city hemorrhaging out of the working middle class. Those who are left are low-income and unemployed and many times lack work ethic and communal responsibility. However on the larger scale, this is not a new phenomenon. In the 19th century, many towns in the western US went through this boom and bust cycle during and after the gold rush. Again it is all driven by economics. In the end, cash is king.

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