13 September 2011

what value is a life?

This week has been a  week of remembrance and somewhat sadness.  Yes, just when you thought all the 9/11 blog posts had been done and it was safe to log into your reader!

I do remember where I was when I first heard about the planes crashing into the world trade centre.  I was driving home from an evening shift at my work, Qantas.  I caught the tail end of some news but wasn't sure what it was about so when I got home I turned the tv on to find out, and oh boy did I find out.  It was horrendous of course and I sat glued for some time in shock like most people I know.  Yet the worse was to come when I returned to work next day.  Taking calls from families desperate to get to their family in America or vice versa.  Calls from people who had family in the buildings, people calling screaming and sobbing for flights that we couldn't provide.  It truly was heartbreaking and emotional torture, yet I know that I felt nothing compared to those involved on the day or as it would seem ten years on.

This week the world pays it's respects to those 2974 people who lost their lives on that day in September.   The disbelief and the anger flows as it did ten years ago and I understand that totally.
I feel anger at  such a violent and unnecessary act.
I feel anger at the unnecessary loss of innocent lives.

But I feel more anger when I think about the inequality in death.  People jump up and down about inequality and rights etc etc yet seem to think this should stop when the breath stops.

What value do we put on a life?  
Is one worth more than another?  
What about in death?  
Does it matter how, when or where one dies?

Do the countless and faceless rescuers from 9/11 have the same value as the 2974 victims?  We don't hear of them and their suffering from subsequent illnesses and deaths related to being in the smoke and concrete dust.  The city of New York do not pay any compensation or medical bills for these men and women.  Will they have a memorial or a state service?

After 9/11 America invaded Afghanistan and Iraq.  Allied troops were also deployed to these countries.  Sadly many soldiers have lost their lives since 9/11. According to icasualties 4792 soldiers of the coalition forces have lost their lives in Irag since 2003 and 2712 in Afghanistan since 2001.  I don't know about other countries but I know that here in Australia when a soldier who has been deployed is killed it makes prime time news and front page of the papers.  Rightly so too, don't get me wrong, loss of life through war is so wrong and such a waste, particularly a war that I don't believe should be occurring or that we should be involved in.  These lives are commemorated in their death and remembered, they are all victims of 9/11.

Since 9/11 there have been at least 1035587 civilian Iraqi and Afghan  lives lost that are not widely commemorated, remembered, revered or documented.  These are also lives lost as a result of 9/11, either at the hand of coalition forces, al qaeda, taliban or suicide bombers.  Regardless of who is responsible these innocents are still victims that are largely ignored and overlooked when a value is being placed on life.

I have been thinking about this a lot this week.  

Did you know there were Queensland floods, Japanese tsunamis, earthquakes of New Zealand, Australia and Japan?  You would have had to have been living in a bubble not to know this of course!  we raised money, offered assistance and saw it on the news daily.  The loss of life minimal in comparison to other disasters but the attention and value obviously high.

Did you know there have been floods in Pakistan recently?  Yes, in August floods have left 200 known dead and 1million injured.  Unicef reports that 25 mil children and 50mil people have been affected.  No huge news reports, no remembrance days for these victims.

Did you know that since 2002 Iran have had 10 major earthquakes with no less than 31000 fatalities.  No huge news reports, no remembrance days for these victims.

There was a landslide in Sth Korea killing 32 people.
There are 300 dead in storms in Alabama, USA
Last year 112 were killed and 500 missing after an earthquake in Sumatra.
In last years floods in Pakistan 1100 people were killed.

I could go on but I won't.  Needless to say, 1000's of people die around the world daily but unless they are of great importance to Australia or USA we do not acknowledge these victims.  They may get a brief story in the paper or on the news but they are  not given the same value as others.

A life is a life!

We are all born of woman, we grow, we weep, we sleep, we shit and we die.  No more and no less than anyone else so why is one life valued more than another?

Please, remember those who died on 9/11 if you must but put it into perspective and remember that those 2974 who died that day are but a few..........

1 comment:

Bel said...

Thank you for putting into words and numbers how I feel. xx