Welcoming author Wes Moore to Springfield

Moore brings his wisdom and experiences to 80th anniversary of the Springfield Public Forum


Andrei Danilchanko

ALL SMILES: Author Wes Moore talked about his life in front of close to 200 people at the Springfield Forum in December.

This past summer, students in all grades were required to read “The Other Wes Moore” by Wes Moore. After reading the book, English classes were able to discuss how it relates to everyday decisions. The discussion lead to a conversation about what influences character and what about these two boys made them the men they are today.

Now Moore is a Rhodes Scholar, army veteran, and accomplished author. The “other” Wes Moore is presently serving life in prison.

Earlier this winter, Moore spoke at the Springfield Symphony Hall in honor of the 80th anniversary of Springfield’s public forum. During his speech, Moore addressed one important question, “who will we choose to fight for?”Moore said he believes that the most important things that you should fight for are the people close to you, your own beliefs, and for those who can’t defend themselves. 


“Who will we choose to fight for?” -Wes Moore


Moore revealed that the title of the book was not the one that he wanted. His editors and publisher chose the cover and title of the book. He also explained that the title symbolizes the fact that there is always “another Wes Moore.” Whether it be in school, in the form of outcasts, or in your neighborhood one can always find someone like the other Wes Moore.

The impact that one choice can make often creates the line between people and “others.” That choice can lead other to negative or positive decisions. It is up to each person to take responsibility over their own choices and actions.

Wes’ relationship with the other Wes Moore is a connection that few will experience. Wes Moore said, “Wes got life in prison, this is his 14th year. He is devoting his life to making sure that people understand his story so that they may make better decisions.”  

Moore also said he grew up believing that people are a product of their environment. It wasn’t until he finally met the other Wes Moore that they discussed this topic and Moore’s views evolved. He learned that “people are a product of their expectations.” and Moore realized that he was accurate.


“People are the product of their expectations.”  -‘the other’ Wes Moore


While speaking with the other Wes Moore as he was writing the book, Moore said that, “The only way I could have gotten this book done was through talking to Wes, there is no way I could have written this book without him.”

He revealed a memory about speaking to one of Wes’ friends, “I remember one day I called Woody, I asked him how was it like growing up in Baltimore and Woody answered, ‘it was cool’. Woody was giving me nothing and I didn’t blame him, because when someone randomly calls you up and starts asking questions, I wouldn’t answer.” Moore proceed to say, “after a couple days, Woody called me and he said, ‘hey listen I talked to Wes and I want to meet up.’” Wes met up with Woody and he took Wes everywhere and talked to him about everything. Moore said, “The only way that Woody opened up to me was when Wes gave him permission. That’s the same with Woody, the same with Wes’s friends, and the same with his family.”

Moore answered questions from many local high school and college students that night. He kept repeating the lessons he has learned throughout his lifetime. Moore looked to the audience one last time that night and said, “remember that every decision you take will affect you for the rest of you life”. The lesson that Moore wanted to communicate to his readers is that every decision is important.


Moore also said,“It’s about all of us, and that’s the idea I wanted to share.”