Monday, April 30, 2007

In Memory......

"In Memory...."
10" x 8", coloured pencil on Strathmore Bristol Vellum

all text and images copyright Katherine Tyrrell

.....of innocence, lives lost needlessly, victims with no names and no memorials, security, feeling safe, clean air, forests, land, homes, trust, peace and all the other things tragically lost in our world.

A day of silence in the blogosphere has been proposed for today. The original proposal related to the victims of the Virginia Tech shooting. Tragic as that was, others felt that there were other bigger tragedies in the world. I can certainly think of any number of other events which have been much bigger tragedies and received much less press and TV coverage. It's all very sad.

Not everybody knows about the proposed day of silence and it's unlikely all blogs will be silent. The ones with the most links certainly aren't - I've checked.

Should people therefore feel as if they are disrespectful if they don't join in? I don't believe they should. At the same time I also support the notion that silence as a memorial is very powerful - when everybody joins in.

I'm not in any way opposed to bloggers contributing to a memorial - in fact I think it could be a very good idea. However I don't think it should be associated with one event or one date which has meaning for only some people. In my opinion, it that were to happen it can appear to disrespect others around the world and their own tragedies.

If this is a good idea then, in my opinion, it needs to be clearly about:
  • all victims and not just one set
  • all the people who have lost their lives needlessly
  • all those people with no other memorial
  • all the things we have lost which we should have valued more while we still had them.
It also needs to be about action and it also needs the support of those who are influential. Mighty oak trees grow from small acorns - maybe the proposal and the debate which has ensued will generate a force for good.

In the meantime - can I recommend you read two posts - one by somebody who is choosing to be silent today and another by somebody who is not - both for very good reasons.
  • Lorelle - a very powerful blog post about the power of silence as a memorial Silence is a Memorium - not a reason to stop blogging - very much a recommended read. Have you ever been moved by the power of silence?
  • Wendy - a thoughtful piece "In Memory" - about why we need to focus on changing the things we can, letting go of the things we can't and learning to understand the difference. Her response has been to create a new blog "Change Your World Today" to celebrate the positive things in people's lives and the postive energy which can be derived from focusing on the unsung heroes in our lives rather than those who conventionally get the memorials - those who go to war, those who protect us and those who are celebrated during our lifetime. Who do you know who needs to be remembered?
Thanks to Wendy for providing the stimulus for the start of this blog post.

4 comments:

Wendy said...

Wonderful post Katherine, and so well said :) Thankyou very much for mentioning my blog etc, I've been thinking for some time of doing something like this and it took thinking about this whole issue to spur me into action. I'm with you, from little actions, the world is changed :)

Ed Terpening said...

Hi Katherine, Your argument against participation makes sense...As I think you know, I manage the blogging teams at Wells Fargo (4th largest banking in the US). We considered much of what you discuss in this post, but in the end, decided to participate (all 4 blogs, you can see one here blog.wellsfargo.com/StudentLoanDown)

You're certainly right in saying there are so many other tragedies around the world, how do you choose what to remember and how? Well, we felt we wanted to do something, and a simple "moment of silence" felt right.

Katherine said...

Wendy and Ed

Thanks for the responses. I did find that the initiative did make me think about other tragedies which greatly affected me at the time.

The Aberfan Disaster - in October 1966, a colliery waste tip slid down a mountain in South Wales and buried the local primary school killing 144 people - of whom 116 were children. It happened to children similar in age to me at the time.

The National Coal Board was found responsible for the disaster, due to "ignorance, ineptitude and a failure of communication. However the government then used money from the charitable fund set up to make the tip stable - which meant that the NCB escaped any financial penalty.

It's taken until February 2007 (nearly 40 years late) for the government to pay back financial equivalent of the money taken (£2 million) to the charitable fund which now maintains the memorial garden on the site of the school and the local graveyard. This action gave some of the survivors final closure on this tragedy.

The Dunblane Massacre - in which one deranged man killed 16 small children and 1 teacher in the classroom of their primary school in Dunblane in Scotland.

This resulted in the Firearms (Amendment) Acts 1997 that banned high calibre handguns, greater than .22 calibre (with very limited exceptions) and the private ownership of all cartridge ammunition handguns, regardless of calibre.

dianeweb said...

Katherine - thank you for telling us about this - I didn't know about it until I got your subscription last night. I am glad to know now.

I agree there is so much out there tragic for so many people. I don't like it when 1 situation becomes the focus. It is horrible about Virginia Tech (and 9/11), but there are a lot of other tragedies too.

I try to make the world a better place, day by day, interaction by interaction.

A simple "moment of silence" is a nice gesture. I like the minute of meditations for peace that periodically happen also ... war is certainly one of the worst offenders for tragedy - on a daily basis!

I am glad the families in Scotland had there recognition after all these years!

~ Diane Clancy
www.dianeclancy.com/blog



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