5/09/2006

Saving Darfur April 30, 2006 Washington, D.C.

You know, I think we Americans are a very fortunate bunch. We do our fair share of complaining, be it about politics, leadership, or lack thereof, about the price of gas and the lack of good public transportation outside of the major cities, about religion in the public domain, too much, too little, about the right to smoke cigarettes and the right to breathe air without second hand smoke, about too much censorship, too little censorship, about too many immigrants, not enough immigrants, about too high taxes, too few social programs. We Americans, as my grandmother might have said, "have what to complain about." But we are lucky all the same. We go to bed at night without fear of our neighbor turning against us, as they did in the former Yugoslavia where the Croats, the Serbs and the Muslims turned against each other, and in Somalia where the clashes occurred between the Hutus and Tutus, and in Ireland where Protestant and Catholic neighbors turned one against the other.

The United States continues to be a work in progress where a huge number of heterogeneous people live, if not side by side, in close proximity and remain united as Americans, be they Black, White, Jewish, Christain, Muslim, Hindu, be they descended from Italy, Germany, Puerto Rico, Nigeria, Poland, Roumania, Egypt, Israel, China, Japan or the Puritans who came over on the Mayflower. We do not see things eye-to-eye and we do fight amongst ourselves, but so far the plan, put in place all those years ago when the founding fathers sat and wrote our Constitution, has continued to work. We do not have ethnic wars. We do not have one group murdering, rapeing and systematically eliminating another group, without fear of reprisal. We live in a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, multi-religious society and though we may not always celebrate the differences, we do always tolerate them and remain one people under the Constitution.

On Sunday, April 30th, I went with some friends to the Rally in Washington DC to "End the Genocide in Darfur." It happened to come at the same time as the large rallies and marches in NYC and around the country regarding Immigration and this, I believe took away some of the thunder of the Darfur rally. Still, it was a memorable day and one which I believe had some influence on our leaders, as can be seen by the actions that were taken shortly after the rally. As of May 5th, a final agreement between the Darfurian rebel armies and the genocidal government of Sudan was reached. The US government had a major role in this plan. And many thousands of Americans had a role to play, as well, in their outcry against the genocide. Let us pray the peace plan is carried through.

I hope these pictures tell the story of the day...




To see all of the pictures of the Rally in DC on behalf of Darfur, click here.

8 comments:

Dave said...

Um, there isn't any such date as April 31st. (Yeah, yeah, I know: you demonstrate to end some terrible human misery and I get pedantic about it.)

Sherril said...

Thanks, Dave. Even us "do-gooders" make mistakes.
sherril

Outside the Box said...

Wow! I want to say it looks like a lot of fun, but that would be inappropriate.

I do miss getting together with more than 3 people who speak your own language though.

(The way you post so many pics, I wonder if you couldn't help me. I can post one pic just fine, but whenever I try to post another pic, it doesn't put the pic where I want it [further down the post], instead it puts the pic right next to the first one at the very top of my post. Any thought as to why?)

Sherril said...

Robert,
Hi. Always nice to "see" you here. First let me tell you that it takes me hours and hours to post this many pics on the blog. I am STILL working on the pics from my Israel trip.

In any case, when you click on the pic icon it asks for size and location...i.e. small, medium, large and on right, left or center. If you keep them one size and one location, e.g. center, they tend to come out one under the other. If you vary the sizes, it is less predictable. If you look at my Napa Valley post, the way the pics are is not always the positon I wanted them, though for the most part, it didn't really matter. One other thing. I learned this after doing a lot of unnecessary moving of the pics. Download them, or upload them, I get confused which it is, doing the last first and work backwards. That way they are in first to last order at the end.

I hope that helps.

sherril

Joe Vogel said...

Sherril,

Wow, I really wish I could have been there. A few months back I met with Paul Rusesabagina (the manager from Hotel Rwanda), and subsequently read an excellent book called "We wish to inform you that tomorrow we will be killed with our families" by Paul Gourevitch.

It's absolutely appalling that the international community stood by and let such a massacre take place. I'm really hoping Darfur can be helped before it reaches that point. I commend your efforts and will look for ways to help myself.

Sherril said...

Thanks for coming by, Joe. Paul Rusesabagina was at the rally and I took a picture of him speaking, but those pics look so small, I couldn't identify who was in each picture. Anyway, he got an enormous reception from the audienece. I felt I knew him from having seen the Movie, Hotel Rwanda. If you have written anything about Rusesabagina, let me know as I would like to read it.
sherril

Diane S. said...

Fabulous photos, Sherril. Fabulous photos of people doing extremely important work. Wish I could have been there.

Amishav said...

Its really cool that you were there and able to participate. About all I could do was send in my postcard and email some congressmen. It must have been nice to have been in such a large group that didn't include any anti-jewish sentiments.