In his famous poem, "For Whom the Bell Tolls", John Donne tells us that all lives are interconnected. Everyone's death diminishes us. Everyone's life is thus important to us. We are part of a community and no one is expendable.
However, that does not seem to be the case when it comes to certain news stories. Certain items get loads of press, while others get no mention at all. Take for instance back on January 28th, 1986 when the space shuttle blew up and the 7 astronauts died. That I can remember the actual date, the names of some of the astronauts, and the cause being the O-ring demonstrates that the media spend much time talking about an event which happened 35 years ago. It was a tragic event. I am in no way trying to diminish the horrors of the event. However, in Canada, that day, nearly 500 people died from all causes. Each one of those 500 deaths, while not mentioned in the media over and over again, each one of those deaths were also a tragedy.
The media continues to focus on certain deaths and not others. Last week it was mentioned that Colin Powell died of COVID at the age of 84. While it would not be possible to discuss the life stories of the other 700,000 plus Americans who have died of COVID, it is wrong to thing of these deaths as just a number. We all heard a lot about Gabby Petito who was killed by her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie, while on a roadtrip. This story is a very tragic one. Domestic violence is a huge issue. Yet what of the 146 women who are killed by domestic violence each year in Canada. Where is the media storm about their tragic ends? Who cried out against violence against women when they died. Much was made of the cinematographer who was killed by a shooting accident on the scene of a movie this week. It was a horrible tragedy. How many other accidental shootings though get hardly a mention and then are forgotten?
The deaths of 7 astronauts, the young woman killed by her boyfriend, and the cinematographer, are all horrible tragedies. All of these deaths left behind family and friends who will never get over their loss. But we can never forget the thousands of others who die without fanfare. Each life is important. Let us celebrate that. Blessings.