I quite frequently drive down Hertel Avenue in Buffalo and pass by a recently closed Catholic church, St. Florian's. It still has the standard bingo sign in front of a social hall that itself was a school at one time. Also there is a fairly modern looking rectory. The most notable thing is the fact the snow isn't shoveled anymore and there are no tracks leading up to the doors.
How many generations of families have had baptisms, sent children to the school, been married and buried over the years? How many people can bring back fond memories of their life around there? This was once the social center of a thriving Polish community. Indeed, this parish was the center of the ministry to the entire Buffalo Fire Department.
I believe that life goes on and have an optimistic viewpoint of what the future will bring. In other words, I really think that things happen for the better. We shouldn't forget though, that many good, smart people did come before us. The children from that school possibly participated in building a better world for us and them.