CROWDS–Desperation or Celebration

And then today….

I see the news story of the Syrian Refugees and I wince.  It is now burned in my brain–the crowd’s desperation, the cramming into flimsy boats and trains and through bus windows.  The beautiful children, the haunting expressions, the death, the hysteria–what can I do?

I remember visiting the Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C. and the experience of crowding into an elevator, getting off on the upper lever and crowding down the narrow hallway to begin the tour.  I’m sure this was architecturally designed on purpose, reminding visitors of the crowded cattle cars.

I have experienced crowds on numerous occasions but my experiences have been celebrations!  A few of my favorites include:

  1.  Crowding into a venue to see a concert–U2, Paul McCartney and Bon Jovi , to name a few.
  2. Crowding into Memphis and the Pyramid on the 25th anniversary of Elvis’ death was a celebration of The King we shared with thousands of his loyal fans.
  3. Crowding onto The Mall in Washington D.C. for the inauguration of President Obama (picture above) will always be a life defining moment.  Millions of people of all ages and sizes and colors mingled together with mutual respect and kindness and with the hope that this country had finally grown up and somehow changed.   It’s turned out to not be that easy.  Racism and hatred are as evident today as ever.

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We walked for a while to a spot near the Washington Monument with this guy, Bill Murray, who seems to be a fan of crowds in a historical context.  He has related several stories over the years on Dave Letterman.  (Oh how I miss Dave.)

But now back to the crowds of desperation….again, my garage sale adventures led me to a home where the proceeds of the sale were to benefit the Syrian Refugees.  The seller is from Syria and we talked for a few minutes.  He thanked me for caring.  But again, what can I do?  I asked him that and he said it was too late.  It seems the most horrible things happen in the name of religion.

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