Value of a life
Letter to the Editor | Friday, April 20, 2007
This past Monday, people across the country were glued to their television screens, witnessing the chaos that ensued as the result of the violence carried out on the Virginia Tech campus. Deservedly, this event received a great deal of publicity – it was on the front page of The Observer and also had multi-page layouts and analysis in the Chicago Tribune and New York Times. What didn’t receive due media attention were the 37 Iraqi civilians who died the same day of the very same unwarranted and selfish violence, as well as others in Darfur, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and other war-torn regions who perish daily.
These stories were overshadowed by the story which undoubtedly hit much closer to home for many on the Notre Dame campus. But we must remember that regardless of the locality of violence, it is still violence. The Virginia Tech students who died are no more or no less human than the countless people who die every day.
This is neither a pro- nor anti-war debate. This is a life debate. The murders at Virginia Tech are indeed a tragedy, but please be aware that in many countries violence of this nature is part of their bleak, everyday reality. The frequency of this sort of violence should not discount its impact on our conscience. We must be thankful that we don’t suffer from the fear of bombs and bloodshed on a daily basis but also be more mindful about the tragedies and suffering that are experienced by those stretched across the world.