How do you know? You are not in Iraq, Pakistan, Cuba, Haiti or the Congo. So why don’t you Shut The Fuck Up for about 1,440 minutes or so and let people go through their mourning rituals as they please?
There was an interview on the BBC this morning with some young Muslims from the area where the bombers are suspected of living. They utterly condemned the bombings and said that the bombers had been mislead by fanatics and brainwashed into believing that they would be helping Islam by their “martyrdom”. But they got quite heated when they began to talk about their “brothers and sisters” who had been killed in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the perception that Muslim lives were somehow being portrayed as less valuable than Western lives. I can see how they might arrive at that conclusion…
I will be joining millions of my countrymen in the remembrance ceremony today - one of my close and dear friends lost her cousin in the bomb that went off on the number 30 bus. Next week I will be helping to run an open evening at the church I attend where we will be offering people from our local community a chance to come and pray, remember, grieve, receive counseling, express their anger, whatever they need.
People identify more strongly with people who are similar to themselves in some way - I understand this, and it is natural that it is so. Still, does it send the message that we think that people who are like us are more important than those who are unlike us? Perhaps…
I think it does to a degree, but I don’t know if I can see a way around it, apart from not having ‘moments of respect’ at all, which I don’t think would be a good compromise. We couldn’t possibly hold a silence for every tragedy that occurs across the world.
You know, it’s ust the grim way things are. If your neighbours house burn down, it’s big news to you. It won’t even register in the media here and will be reduced to a ne column, four line news item at the bottom of the page, to fill out space, in most papers in your own country. It’s not a matter of us and them as much as it is proximity. Somone torched the local mosque here about 18 monts ago and you can bet your ass that it was top headline. There was a really brutal killing of an immigrant restaurant owners wife this past winter. The man got an eye pierced by a knife and the perps were kids in their late teens. Big fuckin’ headlines.
The same event in a suburb in Sidney wouldn’t have made the news here.
I’ve never really cared for moments of silence. The first moment of silence I can remember was in 5th grade within days after the Challenger exploded. I’m not knocking moments of silence as I realize that people grieve in different ways. It’s just something I’ve never really been into.
When my father died I cried. When someon elses father whom I have no vested interest in dies I don’t cry. I might empathize for them but it isn’t something I’m going to mourn. Likewise when my country is bombed I’m going to feel worse a bout it then if Iraq or Afghanistan was bombed.
Fair enough? - it’s the way the world is. Doesn’t mean I have to like it much…
It was quite eerie really, we all gathered along with workers from the buildings nearby in the little park across the road and the traffic on the busy road in front of our office gradually came to a halt. One poor van driver, in his hurry to pull to the side of the road, clipped a parked motorbike just as the two minutes began. I thought I could hear Big Ben chiming down the river, and I could definitely hear the platform announcer at one of the mainline rail stations which must be just over a mile away. It was very still. We stood there together, as the seconds passed, and then people began to shuffle and it was all over - back to the desk and to pack away the data projector after this morning’s meeting.
I’m cuious, does anyone know if these moments of silence were common in the past? Did the United States have a moment of silence after Pearl Harbor was bombed? How about when Custer was defeated? Has this always been common or is it a more recent occurance?
I think it’s down to increased sports coverage on TV - it used to be only sports events where a minute’s silence was observed, but as more and more games are televised you’d see them more often, and they become more an accepted part of life.
I also think the whole post-Diana mayhem might have encouraged us (in the UK) that public displays of mourning are OK, which then turned into public displays of mourning are expected - hence the two mins silences.
We had one for the tsunami, and for London today, that’s two in 6 months - earlier I doubt we’d have had that many in 5 years.
Yes, the Remembrance Day silence has been around for a while, BUT in recent years/decades, it had become less widely observed, then the British Legion ( I think agitated a bit to have it make a comeback, as it were.
I’m not sure I am all that keen on them either. Remembrance Day, well, fine, but the Diana thing was excessive, I thought.
Why? Have one for each if you want. Organize others to join you if you think it’s important. But why begrudge someone wanting to mourn what they want to mourn? I’ve never understood the mindset that says, “We can’t be happy (or sad) for A because it doesn’t apply to B.”
Thank you Liberal.
Personally I give money for causes like those in B because money can help in those poorer countries. For cause A money is inappropriate since UK has plenty, but a moment of contemplation makes a nice gesture.
I would think that whatever country has suffered whatever loss would recognize it in its own way. For UK, it was a moment of silence. For another European country it may be church bells tolling (don’t know if this has occured, but it’s within the realm of possibility). Western countries seem to have glommed onto the moment of silence (we had them in school, when a classmate died–and that was 1975).
I would hate to put our custom onto Pakistan or Iraq or Aghanistan. They can grieve their tragedies as they see fit. For all we know, they may have customs in place. If their’s is the same as ours, so be it.
I have no answer for the need for recognizing of the pain and suffering we have caused other nations. I see a need, but doubt highly that any recognition will occur–on a national level. So, I am not trying to dismiss the above mentioned horrors and tragedies–I just don’t see what is to be done about them.
It’s not always easy – sometimes it’s quite difficult – to fully sympathise with people who live far away, whose way of life, whose culture, is very different from our own.
The young Muslims from Leeds care about the victims of terrorism in Afghanistan and Iraq in a more immediate way than I do, because they have more in common with them. But because they’ve spoken about it on TV and radio, speaking in accents I’m familiar with, and identify with; because they live in houses like mine, in streets like mine; because I recognise them as people who could easily be my neighbour: I see that my own connection to the people of Afghanistan and Iraq is closer than I thought, and I’ve paid a different kind of attention to the news reports from those parts of the world.
Perhaps if I was a better kind of person, I wouldn’t need a couple of Yorkshire teenagers to remind me to care for my fellow man – but apparently I do.