I was hoping to NOT have to dust off some older thoughts (back when I still had some) but I'm thinking that was a forlorn hope. Here goes. Today as you may have seen if you look at news just about anywhere, is the seventy-second anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. which serves as the cornerstone for today's observance of International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
As a child when my mother's mother told stories of "The War" her generation had fought, she rarely mentioned the death camps-perhaps because we were of Irish ancestry and Roman Catholic religion, perhaps for reasons she never had the time or the opportunity to explain. Europe was far away and there's too often a tendency to suggest it's good to let the past remain the past. Not this time.
I'm her age now and the cautionary tale that the Ha-Shoah should have been does not seem to be a lesson we on the planet have fully learned. There is mindless murder every day in every corner of the globe because of the color of skin, the choice of a God, the shape of an eyelid, always some variation of the fear of The Other.
We are NOT much better here in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave, especially just months after a Presidential campaign whose alternative facts are such that many of us could shower for the next four years and still never feel clean as we impersonalized and dehumanized those with whom we are/were in disagreement philosophically and politically, rendering them abstractions and making them easier to hate and then hating them deeply and completely. Et tu, Omnis?
As we keep Slouching towards Bethlehem we've continued our journey along the road to perdition and that, I fear, means we will persist in writing off one another and the damages we do to ourselves as part of the overhead of being on the planet. As if a person's lifetime is worth no more than an arched eyebrow or a shrugged shoulder.
I haven't yet purchased or read this book but I shall because it's very important, at least to me, that someone bear witness to who we were and how easily the danger and horror of all of that did happen and can happen again. Growing faint in the face of evil is to do nothing and doing nothing cannot be allowed especially when each of us, world wide, knows that silence is consent and the first chapter in the horror story.
About a minute and a half into this trailer, Keri Lynn (spelling?) explains why she became involved in the Paper Clips Project. I imagine she's close to graduating high school by now and her place has been taken by other bright and shiny young people who, if we're lucky, will not need to build rafts to save us from the flood of our own hatred but, instead, bridges that allow connections despite our differences.