Today I grieve with my treasured Muslim friends and colleagues mourning the loss of such a beautiful family in London, Ontario who were just out for an evening walk, and thinking of their 9 year old son in hospital, orphaned by such a despicable crime of terrorism and hate. I will always stand with you against Islamophobia, hatred and racism of any kind. My heart breaks with yours as I send my deepest condolences to all of their family and friends in mourning tonight.
This is hell on earth and we must not turn away. It is not about whose side you are on or who you pray to, it is not about who wins or who loses, it is about the suffering and loss of life of innocent children, it is about the loss of humanity and a universal failure of leadership in a world that has lost its way. Wishing Eid Mubarak to dear friends tonight is hard knowing that their hearts are breaking. I hope they know I am thinking of them, together with all grieving families so far away but yet so close.
State representative Park Cannon was arrested, her hands cuffed behind her back, dragged through the Georgia State Capital and thrown in jail for KNOCKING ON A DOOR. In the words of President Biden this can only be described as “despicable.”
“We will not live in fear and we will not be controlled. We have a right to our future and a right for our freedom. We will come together and continue fighting white supremacy in all its forms.” Representative Park Cannon.
Happy International Women’s Day to all the amazing women in my life who inspire me each and every day at home and at work, together with all of our healthcare heroes. Here are some of the women who inspire us all both as leaders and protesters and who sadly in the process too often pay the ultimate price. This year the theme for today is “Choose to Challenge,” which is why I am dedicating this post to the memory of Kyal Sin, who “chose to challenge” but was murdered five days ago at the age of 19 by the Myanmar Police. “Everything will be OK” she believed, but “Will it be?” is the question for our times.
First the good news as reported in a new court filing by Julia Ainsley and Jacob Soboroff, author of “Separated” a book that should be read by all: the parents of 105 of the children separated at the border by the previous criminal administration have been found. Unfortunately, the filing goes on to report that the parents of 506 of the remaining children have yet to be reached; 322 of them are being looked for in their countries of origin; 168 are attempted to being located in the United States; for the remaining 16 there no contact numbers available.
In the words of Winston Churchill, “Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”
P.S. My apologies to those of you looking for my promised story behind the leaf drawings, this has taken on a life of its own and has now become a work in progress. Stay tuned.
Families Belong Together
On September 22nd last year I posted the centre part of this image on the day that 200,000 American lives were reported to have been so tragically lost to the ravages of COVID-19. Today, one year since the beginning of the pandemic we learn that the number has now reached 511,133. In Brazil it is 246,560; in India 156,418; in the UK 120,580; here in Canada 21,715; and worldwide the number is 2.47 million.
Each one of those lives lost, both young and old, leaves families and friends in mourning; today we mourn with them too. We also think about all of our healthcare and frontline heroes who cared for them all, often the last ones to be by their sides as they took their last breaths. Today is a day once again to say thank you to each and every one of them, for they too are also always in our thoughts.
In a memorial ceremony tonight at the White House President Biden spoke so movingly to the nation, but his words I felt were also to a grieving world:
“While we have been fighting this pandemic for so long we have to resist becoming numb to the sorrow. We have to resist viewing each life as a statistic or blur. We must do so to honor the dead but equally important to care for the living, those loved ones left behind.”
How fortunate we are to have President Biden in the White House at this moment in history.
666+186 Day LIV – Journey’s End.
Thank you to all of you who have joined me over the past few months. Knowing you have been “looking over my shoulder” and sharing my concern for the children has been a great support. Over the next day or two I will be writing the story of my journey, which I will post once it is completed.
I thought I would add today my words from that first day, October 22nd as a reminder of the reason why my journey began:
I have begun this drawing of the 546 leaves I collected today from the Pacific Spirit Park to represent the 546 children separated from their parents. As a parent and grandparent who loves his children and grandchildren so much this is my way of representing the heartbreak and the anguish being felt by so many families suffering in this tragic story of state supported kidnapping of children. As the drawings continue I will post their progress and will be thinking of each child as I draw every one of these fragile leaves.
666+186 Day LIII: the final leaf, the last of the final 9 leaves that end a journey that began on October 22nd last year. I have decided to keep the dates together with the marks from each day that indicate the number of leaves drawn that day, as part of the final piece. Look for the completed work tomorrow. Posting this on Canada’s Family Day is an opportunity to remember the separated children and look forward to the day when those responsible will be held accountable. #families belong together.