It’s been 13 years since Rachel Corrie was murdered in Gaza while protecting Palestinian homes from demolition.
In the ensuing time since her death, she’s become a beacon of humanitarian work for people all over the world. She’s been a personal hero for me — I’ve admired her courage, her writing, her dedication to helping marginalized people, no matter what it took – including her life.
When I was in high shool, I thought someday I would be some iteration of Rachel Corrie: a fearless journalist covering the injustices of a war-torn Middle East, or a Peace Corps volunteer, guarding wells for refugees or something.
I haven’t become any of that, and in some ways I feel as if I’ve let Rachel (and my teenage self) down. I still reflect on her life on each of her death days – I even went to the ten year memorial in her hometown of Olympia, WA. But I’ve been procrastinating building on her legacy, and I’ve been shying further and further away from the type of person Rachel seemed to be.
So this March 16, I am going to honor Rachel’s memory by trying to get some of that courage, idealism, and desire to help people back.
I would also like to thank Bill Jolliff for his inspiration in fairly* quiet revolution – how to say your bit when you’re more inclined to write songs and articles from your local coffeeshop than to stand in front of the bulldozers themselves. His ‘Ballad of Rachel Corrie’ was my first introduction to her story, and I’m sure it’s reached many others through him, as well.
* he does play banjo, after all…
Note: Now it’s March 17, so I’ve even procrastinated finishing this.