Day of Mourning

September 1, 2004.
On that day I was in Crimea. We were walking and drinking wine in the garden, toasting Chinese philosophy.
And then we suddenly heard “Beslan” from an adjacent garden.
My September 1 will never again be the same. With flowers and meeting of old friends.
On September 1, 2014, many Donbass children did not go to school. Many of them have not gone the whole year. Hundreds of children were hiding in the cellars, afraid to go outside. Some of them are now gone. Some? Many, rather. Not just those who were hurt by the shells. Also those who never got the insulin they needed, or an anti-seizure drug, or some other vitally needed medication.
Hundreds of kids became disabled for life–and not only those who lost limbs or suffered wounds. It’s the newly discovered diabetics, kids with constant headaches, nervous system pathologies, cancers. On the Donbass cancer discovered a “fountain of youth”, if that’s an appropriate phrase to use.
Many of the schools which were on the front lines in 2014 had ceased to exist. In Lugansk, Pervomaysk, Uglegorsk, Debaltsevo, and other cities.
School No. 42 in Uglegorsk. I don’t know whether it was rebuilt or not. We were there in 2015.

 

Only walls and burned out stool legs remained of one of Lugansk schools. This photo was made in December 2014.

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School No. 1 in Pervomaysk.
We took this video in April 2015. Its facilities were converted to a community cafeteria which fed people free of charge. We brought food here and entered the school building. The bell was damaged, and was ringing constantly.
The school was struck by more than a few shells.

I get nauseated reading some people who write so well about helping sick children, orphans, protecting the rights of children, who are concerned for those held up on the metro, but won’t write a single word about the Donbass children! Not a word!
As if these kids did not exist.
September 1 has been taken away from me.
Yet I am an educator, it is my holiday after all.
It was taken away already in 2004, when I was a student. I can’t say much about Beslan, except for the emotions which were burning within me and within all of us when we watched TV and read the news. I don’t know what I knew back then, I don’t remember myself from those days.
But I remember well the September 1 from 10 years later. From 2014.

Please forgive me if I spoiled someone’s day..


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