Monday, April 16, 2007

Elizabeth Edwards on today's tragedy

I’ve heard remarkable things about this woman, and these words only support them. What a gift for reocgnizing the grief, the sorrow, and the unthinkable traumas that the families, and roommates, and classmates are all going through… and then for ultimately identifying that we all share an obligation to fix whatever’s broken in our society that would produce such a disaster:

I remember writing after the death of the 1000th American in Iraq — and there were 40 more names released this week who died in Iraq and Afghanistan bringing the total to over 3300 — that it wasn’t one thousand but a thousand ones, each with a family, each with corsages or boutonnieres pressed between the pages of a book, each with dreams and plans. And so it is again with at least thirty-two young people of promise. At least thirty-two ones, each a treasure, each a joy, each a story to learn and repeat, so that the madness that took their breath will not also steal their stories.

We don’t know the stories yet, but surely we will. And we don’t know why, and likely we will never really know and certainly we will never truly understand.  But for each of them, we have to try, we have to learn why this tragedy repeats itself here, in this country of the greatest possibilities, a country built on the right to pursue happiness. Why here?  We have to figure this out. And then we have to get about the business of fixing it.

For them, and for us all.

Courage and peace and mercy.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of those lost today at Virginia Tech. It’s sad to think that just five days ago I wrote these words:
Peace be with you all, and may we all bear witness so that in time it is only the museums that force us to remember the horrors humanity can inflict upon itself.

If only it were that easy.

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