Warning: some of the images are graphic.
I recently travelled to Washington, DC and visited the Newseum while I was there, thinking it would be a quick visit. I ended up staying until it closed! What an incredible experience! My heart was full, appreciative, even more grateful for the honor of living in America, but most of all my heart was heavy.
The Newseum was a serious dose of reality. It really made me reflect and shut up about me. There’s so much that has happened in the history of the world and there’s so much happening right now and it’s so important to look outside of ourselves so that we are not only mildly appreciative, but beaming with pride and respect.
The images and videos at the Newseum were very graphic, heart wrenching and it just gutted me to see children in the Vietnam crying and running naked through the streets. The image was one from the war and amidst the terror and utter horror of the war the Vietnamese children were overwhelmed with dread and devastation.
Nothing is comparable to the look on their innocent faces and as I looked on, as any human would, my eyes well up and my heart crumbled as I let my mind drift and wonder; “what became of these kids?”
We seldom found out what became of the children in these explicit photos.
There was one image of an execution; the gun was held to the man’s head, the only emotion I saw in his eyes was terror. But there was only finality in his fate in the middle of dilapidated city. He was shot in the head and died instantly on the war infested street. The journalist gave an account of the gunman walking past him, saying he did him a favor because the deceased had killed many of his people.
Then there was another image of a dead man hung on a tree, not only was he dead, but he was being beaten on the head with a fold up chair while men, women and children alike looked on at this morbid act of dehumanizing. I was appalled as I averted my eyes. I felt physically sick looking at the dead man being beaten over the head.
Now, I have no frame of reference for what the dead man did, but it was torture to watch the nonchalant look of normality on the faces of those that looked on and that’s when I knew that this must not have been the first time that a situation such as this unfolded.
There was another image of a monk on a street; legs folded, spine straight, the picture of posture, grace and pride…he was also engulfed in flames as he sat on the street. According to www.Wikipedia.org self-immolation is the act of intentional suicide to prove a collective point in the name of martyrdom.
I know that he must have been in pain, but his purpose was greater as he sat amidst the flames that danced and flickered around his charred body.
I saw video accounts of journalists and New Yorkers caught in the middle of falling buildings, flying debris and the chaos of 9/11. I believe everyone who sat in the theatre at the Newseum cried.
One woman in the video shakily recalled she saw debris fall from the buildings, but later realized people were plummeting to their deaths. The moment she said that sobs racked her body and she abruptly ended the interview.
The rumble, the visuals, the downpour of soot, the screams, the dread all invaded my senses and I felt thankful…I was saddened for those lost, but the collective efforts to heal the city, the country and later men, women and children is what stuck with me.
History teaches us lessons, breaks our hearts, heals the soul and revolutionizes our thinking. It encompasses the good, great, bad and the ugly. Our feelings about history are muddled together to form our identity.
We can never remain true to ourselves by eliminating history or our history. It is the D.N.A of our culture! Even history leads us to be thankful! I cannot help, but be thankful that I have my current life because I too like many others have travelled many waters, flown many miles to be here, left behind many loved ones to start anew.
The biggest thing I left behind was the fate of a broken future! The inspiration of the dream and greater dreams keeps me mentally, spiritually and physically alive.
The severity of our actions and/or the actions of others teaches us life lessons; that we honor those deceased who fought tirelessly for our freedoms and those caught in the crossfire of unfortunate events and that those who perpetrate any crimes against man or against love will reap exactly what they sow.
Now’s the perfect time to honor and respect our freedoms and pay homage to the many still intricately tied to the very essence of our existence and future. You are the future! let’s wake up and give life to our dreams! Your vision and dream is waiting to be an unstoppable force!
C.T.A: Did you like this post? How do you feel about history or your history? Thank you in advance for liking, sharing and commenting! Truly appreciate it!