Tonight I watched someone die. I watched the life slowly empty from their veins, the color seep from their face until it was the color of ash that falls from the sky. I watched the death of the self – the death of my self. The death of self is something that can only happen willingly – there is the perversion of self that happens over time where one’s very core of who they are rots away until it has ceased to function, ceased to be something beautiful. But the death of self is only possible when one is willing to give up that which is most precious in order to create something more beautiful than would be possible without that sacrifice. The act of self sacrifice is so much greater and so much more beautiful then the acts of a single person who only gives a little. Every day I am thankful that God has blessed me with a life and a family and a land that allows me to live in peace, justice, faith, hope and love. Every day I weep because I know that others are being senselessly cut down in the name of hatred. The death of my self is all I have to give – the death of my self is my sacrifice in memory of those who have perished before me. My death of self is me standing up before the nations and saying “thou shall not stand idly by the blood of thy neighbor.” My death of self is standing before all people and saying “never again.” Only with the death of my self am I able to remember the death of so many who stood up for who they were, for what they believed, for their nation, for their ethnicity, and for their family. If we, who have the power to give together stand idly by, we are no better than those who slaughtered the innocents. I refuse to stand in silence; my death is not a soundless death, I do not go to the grave quietly but howling, screaming, beating my breast so the world will know my outrage. My death will not be in silence – my death will be the future for the war torn parts of the world where children watch their parents die and husbands watch their wives and daughters raped. If we forget the horrors of the world then we forget those whose lives mean more then ours ever could. We must not forget because in remembrance is redemption.
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