Parents Circle — Bereaved Parents, Israeli and Palestinian

In reading a book titled “The Science of Evil,” trying to connect “interruption of the empathy circuits” with “evil”  [and which I can only recommend half heartedly] I came across a reference to The Parents Circle, an association of Palestinian and Israeli parents who have lost children in the long war between the two peoples, and who are determined to break through the fog of hate enveloping both.  There are a few such organizations which have brought young people from both nations to work together for summers in the U.S. and other such efforts.  This one is new to me and I thought worth passing on.

 

www.theparentscircle.org — take a look, lend a hand, pass it on….

Iraq Vet Offers to Family He Destroyed — His Anguish

In a powerful article called Atonement in The New Yorker by the unparalleled Dexter Filkins we get a story that should be part of every recruiting package to anyone who thinks joining the armed forces is a good thing to do.

It tells of Lu Lobello, a hell-raising kid who joined the U.S. Marines and found himself in a fire-fight in Baghdad that nothing. nothing, nothing, had prepared him — or any of his squad– for.  Trained only for “when in doubt, light ’em up,” he was part of a massacre of an Armenian Christian family who were themselves trying to get out of harms way.  His memories of the afternoon have destroyed the rest of his life:  dishonorable discharge, heavy drinking,  continual insomnia.  Finally, in desperation, he decided to track down the young woman in the car they had shot at. And he found her — living in the United States, her shattered shoulder healed.  Filkins, who had written about the family after the incident, helped arrange a meeting between Lobello and Nora Kachadoorian.  And, out of uniform, away free fire zones and in the deepest wonder of human beings, he found forgiveness.

This is a story you will long remember.  It should be widely known, and read for all its lessons:

  • once in a war, you don’t get to chose what happens
  • what happens in 10 minutes may affect the rest of your life
  • bullets don’t know good guys from bad
  • no matter what you’ve prepared for, you haven’t prepared for this
  • no matter what your superiors tell you, they haven’t planned for this
  • some people, some times, find empathy beyond the imaginable

Some excerpts… but read it all..  New Yorker Oct 29 & Nov 5  [Sorry, no complete link.  You have to log in, or buy the issue, or go the library or a friend with a subscription, and of which will reward you] Read more of this post