Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Tuesday, September 10, 2002

In preparing for the anniversary of September 11th, I decided that what I wanted to focus on were not the ruined buildings, or the explosions, or the violence, but the individuals killed--each having lovied ones, each with a story. It's awful that history tends to remember those who perpetrate atrocities and not the names of those killed. So I went through and printed a list of the dead--and placed the sheets of paper on the wall around our auditorium at work. Sixty sheets. Three thousand names. The youngest was 2, the oldest 85. People living everday lives. People like you, or me. People killed by hate.

An excellent website has the names, with a photo and information if available, and comments from readers. It is at http://www.september11victims.com. It will no doubt be getting a lot of traffic tomorrow, but it gives a glimpse into the lives behind the names.

It's funny but I don't really fear tomorrow--I know that there are alerts, that new terror is always possible. It's the world we live in. It was the world we lived in last year, too, although we tried to forget it. As I child I remember terrorists flinging a man in a wheelchair off a cruise ship, bombings in Beirut, the terror of the 70s. It never went away. But we cannot live with that fear, or terrorists win.

They say that the Oklahoma City bombing broke the 'militia' movement in this country. It's harder to recruit hatemongers when you kill kids, you see. Maybe, just maybe, the same will happen with terrorism. The IRA recently apologised for its actions in the Troubles of Northern Ireland, after all.

We can hope, anyway, and remember, and live our lives to the fullest despite a sometimes scary world, and teach our children not to hate so that someday the idea of blowing yourself and anyone nearby up will seem as awful as it is in reality.

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