Thursday, March 16, 2006

Rachel

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Today, March 16, is the third anniversary of the death of Rachel Corrie. She grew up in my hometown, Olympia, WA. I never knew her, but we had many friends in common, and I have become friends with her family. Today, I pray for them, and I pray that Rachel's work will continue to bring peace to the world.

Rachel died in Rafah, Gaza Strip, while using her body to defend a house from demolition by the Israeli army. She knew the family that lived there; she had stayed with them, eaten with them, played with their children. She was wearing a bright orange jacket, and speaking through a megaphone to the driver of the 9-ton Caterpillar D-9 bulldozer that killed her. He dropped the blade, ran over her, and backed over her again. She died of massive internal injuries.

Whatever you think of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, here is a woman who believed passionately that peace was possible. The year before her death, Rachel organized a contingent of doves to march in Olympia's Procession of the Species celebration. She did not go to Gaza to die, but to do what she could to assist the people who were living in a world of checkpoints and armed watchtowers. She walked children to school. She slept at wells to defend them from military demolition.

Rachel went to Gaza to learn what life was like there, so she could teach about it when she came home. She went with the hope of connecting the communities of Rafah and Olympia. Her family and friends have continued that work.

Rachel sent e-mails to her family from an internet cafe in Rafah. Read them at Rachel's Words.


Here is the link to the Olympia-Rafah Sister City Project.

Here is a poem for Rachel, written by Palestinian-American author Suheir Hammad.

I remember also that the body of Tom Fox was found this week in Iraq. He was one of the Christian Peacemaker Team members taken hostage. There has been no news of the others. Today, do something in the name of peace. Plant a flower. Say hi to someone you normally wouldn't speak to. Sign up for a foreign language class. Write a letter to your Congressional representative. Pray for the work of CPT. Read Rachel's words out loud.

7 comments:

Mimi said...

May her Memory be Eternal.

Debbie of Boise said...

May the blood of this martyr nourish the seeds of peace in the Middle East.I know in my heart she did not die in vain, though the fruit of her sacrifice may take time to ripen.

Peace and comfort to you my friend as you remember and grieve her death.

Kirstin said...

Note to the poster known as "Why Palestinians Usually Get It Wrong":

While I can't say I'm not flattered to be considered important enough for you to have visited me, I do not accept comments that come without a signature. Your name appears nowhere on your site, either; therefore, I have no idea who you are or what organization you may represent.

Further, you posted not a comment, but a full-length article that was simply cut-and-pasted from your own blog. That is rude.

Lastly, this is my blog, not yours. My friends read this. Rachel and I shared a community. They do not need to come here and have their faces rubbed in hate speech posted by a stranger. Your misinformation and propaganda belong, if anywhere, on your own site. Not on mine.

For these reasons, I have deleted your comment.

Mimi said...

That poster wandered to my blog and posted the same thing, grrrrr.

You posted an eloquent and beautiful response, Miss K! Thank you.

saba said...

Rachel Corrie is a true hero, and every palestinian see her that way. I saw your post on Why palestinians usually get it wrong btw. And yea that person posted on my blog as well, and i had to delete one of the comments because it was a personal insult. How immature.

will smama said...

Thank you for this personal note on Rachel. Our Sunday School class is currently running a series called Hot Topics and right now we are discussing the Palestinian/Isaeli conflict. The PCUSA's resolution on divestment came up and I was telling them about Rachel, but only from what I knew from impersonal articles. I am so glad I meandered over here this afternoon to get some more personal thoughts and some direction on where to hear directly from her.

Thank you for this.

FranIAm said...

Kirstin, thanks for sharing this with me!

This is really well done. Her memory is so often vilified by the oppressing forces. She was trying to save lives.

You are probably aware of the play about her. When it was in NYC, you can't imagine the outcry; very sad.

I hope that you are not offended by my blog, which tends to be saint and sinner in equal parts.

Kind of like me.