A soldier shot and killed on the streets of Detroit after returning from the gulf war was a victim of another war that rages in the nation's urban centers, the Rev. Jesse Jackson said Saturday at the soldier's funeral.
Jackson and others at the service for Army Spc. Anthony Riggs called for a focused government effort to treat the problems that face black males in America."We must fight racism, sexism, anti-Semitism, poverty with the same courage that we fought Saddam Hussein," Jackson said. "We must take back and free America. We'll stop the enemy and set forward a plan of stability and development."
Riggs, 22, died early Monday when he was shot by a man who stole his car. Riggs had been back in Detroit about 24 hours and was loading a moving van to move his family to the suburbs when he was gunned down.
No arrests have been made. The Detroit News says its count shows Riggs was the 128th murder victim in Detroit so far in 1991.
In the gulf war, 124 Americans were killed in action.
"The tragic and senseless death of one of our heroes bears witness to the plight of our urban children," said Rep. Barbara-Rose Collins. "The death of Anthony Riggs takes us from the elation of victory to the reality of urban streets."
Some 700 people filled the ornate Little Rock Baptist Church, one of Detroit's largest. Soul singer Aretha Franklin sang "I'll Fly Away."