It’s another year gone by. Another anniversary of Rachel Corrie’s death. Pretty much every year I try to mark this day. I mark it for Rachel’s family and friends. I mark it for those so involved in the peace and dignity efforts. And, most of all, I mark it for me. Every year this date is a reminder that a promising American youth was intentionally run down by a man in piece of lethal equipment. This equipment is a bulldozer designed to knock over Palestinian houses. It is produced and sold to only one country for only one purpose. The mere fact that it exists should shame every American.
I have never met Rachel. In truth, until she was bulldozed I had never heard of Rachel. But I count her as a friend. I know that had I met her, I would have liked her. I would have respected her courage, her honesty, and her heart. For those who feel terrible for the poor Israelis being threatened by missiles, hear in Rachel’s own voice the situation back in 2003. Then fast-forward 9 years and think how much worse the situation has become. Imagine how much harder it would be for you to retain hope. And imagine hearing about all the Americans voicing their outrage at Bashar Assad and his atrocities in Syria. Imagine, if you can (and you can’t because none of us can really), how disheartened and forgotten Palestinians across the territories but in Gaza in particular must feel. Imagine…
The story of Rachel’s death is told here in pictures [warning some are graphic, be aware you see her after being crushed by the bulldozer]. After seeing the pictures of Rachel in her bright orange jacket standing on top of a mound of dirt in line with the driver’s seat, it is impossible to doubt that her death was intentional. The response of the military afterwards makes it likewise clear that her murder was intended to send a message to others who would protest the mistreatment of human beings. Their point was clearly and succinctly made. And yet, they didn’t count on a very important reality. These brave young men and women are still there, even today, even with the blockades there are people recording, protecting, attempting to draw attention to the inhumane acts of an inhumane occupation. Right will win against might. And when you subjugate and dehumanize a group of people you can never be in the right.
On this day my thoughts and prayers are with Rachel’s family. Mom and Dad Corrie, know that people around the world are thinking of your daughter today. Know that we honor her memory as someone that died in pursuit of the most noble thing… humanity. And know that although it must feel like it some days, her death was not in vain. Rachel was a brave young woman who had such heart… such heart. The tears we shed for her will water the plants of the next generation. My prayers and my thoughts will be with you… this year and every year. Goodbye Rachel, once again. Goodbye.
Sad Farewells… Again.