Saturday, February 14, 2009

From the plane crash in Buffalo

Two of the obits in today's Times refer to people who died in the crash near Buffalo, both women, both quite extraordinary.

First, Beverly Eckert, returning home to celebrate what would have been her husband's 58th birthday and establish a scholarship in his name. Her husband, Sean Rooney, had died in the 9/11 attacks after which she became an advocate for families whose relatives had died.

The second, Alison Des Forges, was a historian who spent most of her time living in Rwanda. While there, she was "among a group of activists who investigated killings, kidnappings and other rights abuses of civilians in Rwanda from 1990 to 1993." In 1994, Dr. Des Forges is the person who called publicly for the massacre in Rwanda to be labeled a genocide.

Really extraordinary women. Unlike most obituaries, my response is to feel that their lives have been cut short and to wonder who will do their work now that they are gone. Such a sudden death. And such sadness. I pray for their families and friends and for the families of all who died on flight 3407.

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