Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Let Us Weep Together

On Monday, our country sat mesmerized before our televisions and computer screens as we watched with sorrow and shock the events that unfolded on the campus of Virginia Tech. Seemingly surreal, we heard the tales of horror from a campus under attack. At the end of the day the death total reached 33, including the young man, Cho Seung-Hui, who carried out the violent attack.

This type of seemingly random violence is difficult to comprehend and impossible to make meaning from. There seems to be no reason, no explanation, no sense to make of such death. I cannot read the news accounts without weeping...for both those lost and those who survive. The grief that has gripped our nation seems overwhelming.

As I listen to reports in these days that follow, I cannot help but imagine what it must be like for those living in Baghdad. Today 160 people lost their lives in four separate bombings. Last week, the official death count of Iraqui civilans totalled over 500, not to mention the number of US casulaties and wounded. Hundreds of people, like those slain students in Virginia, awoke to go about their daily lives without any sense that this day would be their last. Violence is erupting across this war torn country infecting their markets, workplaces, schools, offices and homes. It makes me wonder if the violence we witnessed in Virginia is not in some way connected to the culture of violence in which we live where Iraq death tolls seem a normal part of daily news reports.

Perhaps, in these days as we in the United States seek to understand the events of this week, we might be mindful of our sisters and brothers who face this type of random violence on a daily basis. Perhaps, we might come to have compassion on those across the ocean and come to sense the deep urgency to end this war.

This week we weep together around the world and cry out for an end to this death and violence.

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