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Uploaded: 09 October 2004

Hostage killed.

I am deeply sorry that Ken Bigley is dead. At 53 I have lost many loved ones now, including my parents. When my Mother died I discovered that I was in the presence of something that was much bigger than me and visited a grievance counselor. I am not typing platitudes but genuine sympathy in the knowledge that I do not know how I would have felt or what I would have done had either of my parents been killed as Ken Bigley has been killed.

Of course, what makes this worse is that Mr. Bigley was a non-combatant, someone caught up in the horror of Iraq. He was an engineer, so it is reasonable to assume he was involved in making good what the invasion has torn apart. 

Whilst his memory will live on in his families grief for years, he is, for the rest of us, another death in an invasion that should not have happened. What makes his death so difficult in the UK is that he was British, he represents the violence brought home.

If nothing else, I hope he acts as a beacon to us all that we must learn to stop killing each other. The, literally, countless deaths that have taken place, and are taking place, in Iraq, in the Sudan, Palestine, Israel, Rwanda, East Timor, Afghanistan (and on and on), are loud, and let them be loud!. For each death should be loud, each death is someone's loved one, somewhere. Each death is a life gone, irrecoverably gone. Life taken before its time. 

The familiarity of invasion, war and violence, its constant presence in the news, disguises how terrible it is, how intimate and personal it is. It disguises and hides our grief. Multiply, if you can, the grief of Ken Bigleys' family across the world. It is unimaginable, but try, for we must!

Woody Guthrie wrote a song, 'This land is my land', it was a good song, it was a pioneering song, it was a growing song of a people in the making. It was a song from a small traveling man in a nation birthed in violence and pitiless slaughter. A man trying to live, to grow, loving the land he was born into.

It is long overdue that it was re-written. This world is my world, this world is your world, this world was made for you and me. 

This world is our home, it is the only home we have. Imagine the world as your home, my home, for it is. Imagine in this small home people being killed, constantly, daily, minute by minute. Death visiting not naturally, not inadvertently, but by the hands of you and me, and by those we send off to do our killing for us. Tribal war, for greed and hatred, for what is not ours, but which we wish to take.

The land is only as good as the life it sustains, without life there is no need for war. Without life, the land is just more land in a universe of many lands and planets, and this planet is just another lifeless planet. We reverence least that which we should reverence most, life! It is the greatest of gifts, unasked for and unexpected, each of us born innocent and vulnerable. Each of us nurtured, well or badly, enough to grow, to be here. To discover what? 

Ken Bigley is dead.

When will we learn?

Does it sound naive or ridiculous to ask when we will stop killing each other? Then let me at least be that, it's a good starting point.

 

Keith Lindsay-Cameron 2004

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