FAO Quotables

"But being right, even morally right, isn't everything. It is also important to be competent, to be consistent, and to be knowledgeable. It's important for your soldiers and diplomats to speak the language of the people you want to influence. It's important to understand the ethnic and tribal divisions of the place you hope to assist."
-Anne Applebaum

Monday, March 12, 2012

That Spring in 1994: What I Remember—Recollections of the Rwandan Genocide

Newest rewrite (previous version available here):

That Spring in 1994: What I Remember—Recollections of the Rwandan Genocide

That spring in 1994, I was 15 years old and a freshman at Bedford High School in Massachusetts.   Searching my memory of that period, I can't uncover even a faded polaroid recollection to give witness to the murder of almost a million men, women, boys, girls and babies. 

That spring

I remember working as a bagger at the grocery store on Hanscomb Air Force Base. 
I remember fleeing the base theatre with my friend CJ after we lit up cigars during a movie.
I remember the field where I would play soccer by my school.

What I can recall

I close my eyes and I can smell the dusty paper of the grocery bags.
I close my eyes and I can feel my heart racing as we were chased out of the theatre.
I close my eyes and I can see the long and overgrown green grass of the soccer field.

That same spring

Nearly a million people's last breath and smell was rotten and rife with
sweat, urine, and blood.
Murderers crushed and ripped apart nearly a million hearts.
Murderers smashed shut nearly a million sets of eyes. 

That same spring

Millions of people


And millions of people did


                                                          and everyday

I trudge with the grief of my own ignorance
like an iron yoke
on the shoulders
of my soul.

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