Tuesday, April 17, 2007

I couldn't possibly understand.

In July of 2000, when i was 18 years old, I witnessed this firsthand. I still don't have words for what it meant to me then, but I'm keenly aware that it continues to affect me in pervasive and subtle ways. The most tangible of these is my memory of coming back to Copenhagen afterwards and reading about the accident and its aftermath in the paper, looking at the pictures and realizing that the man who wrote it and most people reading it hadn't been there. I remember thinking, "That's exactly what it looked like, but it's not what it felt like at all. They couldn't possibly understand." Ever since then I can't watch news coverage of sudden, unexpected tragedy without remembering that to someone, it is far more real than it will ever be to me.

To thousands of people who woke up yesterday morning like just like any other, this isn't television. I don't even know what to say next. It is overwhelming to me, 3000 miles away, and more overwhelming to realize that I don't know the half of it.

I'm doing my best not to feel helpless: holding the ones I love, continuing to write my congresspeople about gun control, and sending love eastwards to people I've never met.

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