Three weeks ago, Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur crashed over Hrabove, Ukraine. Believed to have been shot down by pro-Russian separatists, the deaths of the 283 passengers and 15 crew members makes the incident the sixth deadliest air disaster in history.
What began as an isolated struggle over the Crimean region in Ukraine has now affected nations from around the world: 193 Dutch nationals, 43 Malaysians (including the 15 crewmembers), 27 Australians, 12 Indonesians, 10 Britons, four Germans, four Belgians, three Filipinos, one Canadian and one New Zealander perished in flight.
Last Monday, the VOICES summer interns journeyed into the city to visit the National September 11 Memorial & Museum. As the college interns of the group, we were in second grade at the time of the attacks. Immersed in the images and audio of the exhibitions, we heard the first-hand accounts of victims, first-responders, and survivors. The experience will forever be ingrained in our minds, as the museum exposed the gravity of September 11 that we did not fully comprehend from the shelter of our elementary school classrooms.
This weekend, Mary Taylor, Ryan Callahan, Grace Elliott and I travelled up to Brattleboro, VT with Mr. Fetchet to spend two days at the Jerusalem Peacebuilders Leadership Camp. While we only arrived in the final days of their session, the Israeli, Palestinian, and American teens welcomed us into their close-knit group and generously shared their experiences from the previous ten days.
The hustle of the city is almost silenced by the pools that cascade deep into the ground at the 9/11 Memorial site. The solemn hum of the pools, the trees draping - creating shadows over the onlookers, the Freedom Tower, and the 9/11 Memorial Museum - shapes the somber atmosphere created as one reflects on the enormity of September 11th, 2001. At the Memorial Museum, people reflected on the day when nearly 3,000 people lost their lives.