That’s how I’m going to remember 2014. Gaza; Ukraine, Mali; Algiers; Netherlands, Malaysia Airlines. Rockets; missiles; Iron Dome; diplomacy; presidents; ministers of finance, defense, and state. Journalists who aren’t used to covering death showing their humanity.
Here’s where I confess to my workmates and colleagues. I’ve not read any email this morning. I’ve been watching CNN’s coverage of Hamas-v-Israel and the Dutch victims of the Malaysian airline that was shot out of the sky by most likely Russia-provided missiles to pro-Russia Ukrainian rebels. I’ve been watching and listening to the talking heads explain what’s going on with our Secretary of State Kerry and how much work he’s trying to do in a day, in so many areas of conflict. Then, a feed from the Netherlands, and the crime lab where the remains of people are being taken so that their deaths can be investigated, and possibly, explained.
Cut-away to a feed that wasn’t supposed to be seen; Dr. Sanjay Gupta, reporting on the medical side of things, as a producer hands him a microphone. He was there, watching what viewers of the cable network saw just a few minutes of, a procession of 74 hearses entering the gates of the Netherlands’ government facility. I glimpse the face of the usually confident, pleasant looking physician. His eyes are sad, practically blank, in shock. So many bodies, each in their own car, passing by him. He looked horrified. In the background the chatter of a show host or anchor, as she explains that yet another commercial airline jet has disappeared in a barren patch of turf in Africa.
This summer is the Summer of Wars. We are mortified that a form of transportation that most of us have used, or will use, a U.S. made plane, shows that it is all too vulnerable to conflict, or, in the case of the latest disappearance, perhaps even weather (it’s too early to know for sure.) that we pay attention to areas on the map we cannot name-Mali. The look of one man, a look of horror, and what I imagine is a sick feeling in his gut drives home that no matter what I’m trying to do to earn a living, and take care of my home and family, it’s just dust in comparison to the wave of human emotions that are being triggered by war, and conflict. Blood is being spilled and tears are pouring from mourners and those who are stunned by mans continued inhumanity to man. What will happen when emotion turns to reaction? How many more wars will be justified by this summer, our summer of 2014?