listening to all the commentary and such on the radio on my home from work today, i was struck by two thoughts. well, a lot of thoughts, but there was something that was not being said.
hearing the stories of the horror and heroism, remembering the shock and massive losses that were dumped in our laps on that day have been, and should have been, the focus of the day. but it came to my mind that in other parts of the world there have been recent horrors and losses that dwarf, in some ways, what we americans lost 7 years ago.
most recently, the earthquake in rural china left 4.8 million people homeless, took the lives of 69,197, and injured 374,176, with 18,222 listed as missing. can any of us even begin to imagine losses like that? true, this was not a premeditated attack from a hostile group of terrorists. but the deep disruptions that this event left in the chinese people is staggering. then there was the 2004 indian ocean tsuniami, with 350,000 dead. unimaginable.
i also thought of how many more have died since 9/11/01 in iraq – iraqis mostly, but far too many americans as well. listening to the families of those who perished in new york, and the stories of the survivors – as griping and deeply moving as it is – i wondered who is going to tell the stories of the iraqi families that have been killed? who will tell the stories of the thousands of children washed away, or buried under collapsed buildings, of lives permanently scarred on a scale like that?
when do we start solemnly reading the lists of their names? when do the bells start ringing for them? when do the grand monuments to their lives get built?