a Dutch person temporarily living abroad, I usually don’t follow news from
home very closely. That changed when flight MH17 was shot out of the air,
killing all 298 passengers on board. As soon as I read that 193 of the passengers were from the Netherlands, I turned
to the Dutch media for more information.
feel the weight of this tragedy because I am so far away from my home country,
but despair leaps at me from the Dutch newspaper websites.
reports on grieving family members, friends and communities and stories of
people who were going on a simple trip, unaware it would be their last.
track developments, with the only unequivocal certainty that all of these 298 people
passenger list, many of the Dutch last names carry the familiarity of home and
I can easily imagine the kinds of lives these people led, the kind of towns they’re from.
been my family, friends or acquaintances.
me how many people lost their lives in a single instant and how many more lives
have been ripped apart by the loss of loved ones.
been aware that people die like this every single day, as I scan over the
headlines announcing the death toll in yet another war.
conflicts that aren’t theirs and their lives are wiped away in a matter of
minutes. From one second to the next, families and communities will never be
Myah Guild / youthjournalism.org
A silent march in Amsterdam Wednesday
evening paid tribute to the memory of those
who perished on the plane.
people are not from my own country. I don’t know what they look like, what
their plans for the future were and how many people will miss them for the rest
of their lives.
hits so close to home, but it’s not.
the communities around those aboard flight MH17 feel right now, I also think
with horror of the countless people who have been through the same thing, and all
the people who will in the future.
right now, who won’t be tomorrow because they will get caught up in a conflict they did not start and
one that they have no control over.
friends and neighbors, children and parents. Because they find themselves at
the wrong place at the wrong time.
nightmare to lose the ones they love, yet we can’t seem to escape from the
eternal cycle of violence and destruction we find ourselves in.
it is so hard to know what to do to make any of it better.
moment to contemplate the gravity of the
death tolls we have had to read about every single day.
I can think of doing.
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