Monday, June 4, 2012

So We Do Not Forget Those Who Died

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I first got the news of the Dana Airlines plane crash on my BB yesterday. The only group I belong to is one of writing nerdz with ears to the ground, eyes on the prize and hands always on their pens. Or in recent times, their blackberries, cameras and laptops. One of the members, Chiagozie Nwonwu, lived close to the crash site and before long, he wrote that he was on his way there.

Later that evening, I logged onto my laptop and visited a few media sites where I usually get my Nigerian news fix and the images overwhelmed me. All the reportage seemed to agree that there were no survivors. In one of the pictures, I saw a burnt figure that looked like a dead person, it probably was. It just broke my heart.


I was somewhat upset at those who were busy taking pictures, but, I later reasoned to myself that they are largely ignorant and probably meant no harm. I know for sure there's not a lot of public information on how to deal at scenes of disaster and emergency in Nigeria.

Some of these people are also coping with their own shock at witnessing such a gruesome scene. Maybe taking pictures was their own way of dealing with the trauma, of removing themselves, their psyche so to say, from the scene and what had happened. Maybe by processing the scene through inanimate devices, they could sublimate the pain of being powerless bystanders by being active eyewitnesses. So they do not forget.

But we do forget. And quickly too.

I woke up this morning, and while some blogs and newspapers are still reporting on the incident, some have moved on. How can we move on so easily after a tragedy like this? Have we already finished processing the loss, the pain, the guilt, the anger? Can we not think of ways we can help those affected, the victim's families, the crash site wounded and victims of property loss or damage?

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