Friday, October 27, 2006

Lest we forget

May we never forget those who have given what they cannot keep to gain what they cannot lose

Living for a cause greater than ourselves enables us to face eternity with the strength that comes from faith. There is assurance that even today, in our culture of isolation and death, there is hope.

We need to hear stories of many people who overcame, or are overcoming their greatest obstacles. They don't present a cure-all from life's struggles and problems, but for those ready to go beyond quick-fix rememdies - i hope stories, tragic as it is, like Rachel's offer stepping stones to a more fulfilled life

There is a need, a real need, in a world where the air is fast becoming to angry to breathe for unflinching courage and the willingness to take risks against terrible injusticies - you can't fight fear with fear - only love...

Rachel Corrie 1979-2003

'On a sunday down in Gaza
Rachel Corrie took her stand
As the bulldozer kept coming
Her blood was shed upon the land

But she held high the torch for freedom
She lit a flame without a doubt
For the ones the world's forgotten
It's a flame that won't go out...'
(Garth Hewitt)

'Many of you will of heard varying accounts of the death of Rachel Corrie, maybe others will have heard nothing of it. Regardless, I was 10 metres away when it happened 2 days ago, and this is the way it went.

We'd been monitoring and occasionally obstructing the 2 bulldozers for about 2 hours when 1 of them turned toward a house we knew to be threatened with demolition. Rachel knelt down in its way. She was 10-20 metres in front of the bulldozer, clearly visible, the only object for many metres, directly in it's view. They were in Radio contact with a tank that had a profile view of the situation. There is no way she could not have been seen by them in their elevated cabin. They knew where she was, there is no doubt.

The bulldozer drove toward Rachel slowly, gathering earth in its scoop as it went. She knelt there, she did not move. The bulldozer reached her and she began to stand up, climbing onto the mound of earth. She appeared to be looking into the cockpit. The bulldozer continued to push Rachel, so she slipped down the mound of earth, turning as she went. Her faced showed she was panicking and it was clear she was in danger of being overwhelmed. All the activists were screaming at the bulldozer to stop and gesturing to the crew about Rachel's presence. We were in clear view as Rachel had been, they continued. They pushed Rachel, first beneath the scoop, then beneath the blade, then continued till her body was beneath the cockpit. They waited over her for a few seconds, before reversing. They reversed with the blade pressed down, so it scraped over her body a second time. Every second I believed they would stop but they never did.

I ran for an ambulance, she was gasping and her face was covered in blood from a gash cutting her face from lip to cheek. She was showing signs of brain hemorrhaging. She died in the ambulance a few minutes later of massive internal injuries. She was a brilliant, bright and amazing person, immensely brave and committed. She is gone and I cannot believe it.
(Tom Dale)


Awareness said...

Rachel's death was so tragic. The visual painted in these words starkly remind us so. I do remember originally reading about this event and feeling sick to my stomach.....

The events that are happening in this world right now are beyond my comprehension. It makes me feel absolutely helpless to do anything about it.
War, injustice, starvation, torture, evil, terrorism........the ongoing threats of violence and murder.....

I will remember........but what can be done about it?

Arlen Crawford said...


Mr. Althouse said...

That is really powerful. Really. It touched me in a way that this battle-hardened soldier rarely is. Thank you.

The Harbour of Ourselves said...

I think we get so used to the stories of ML King Jnr and Oscar Romero - we almost romantacise (?!) them slightly - so when we hear stories of 'ordinary' folk like rachel, the brutal harsh and tragic reality hits home harder than ever

i never knew rachel but good friends of mine did. what can we do? god i don't know apart from just kicking the darkness til it bleeds more daylight - however that looks for each of us

poignant - very true - haven't heard that word in a while, but it sums up rachels life pretty well

glad this battle-hardened soldier has been moved - i guess we all need it now and then - she was a good kid, a really good kid

Niki said...

What am I complaining about?

The Harbour of Ourselves said...

what am i complaining about? i can be a cynical old bastard, i think it's all relative - we all have our burdens to carry and our hells to face - stories of people like rachel just sober me and give me perspective - i hope they do for others too...

hope your weeks break was cathartic