This is what I wrote, gut reaction, the day after this death:
I didn't know Rachel Corrie, but her death affected my deeply. I found out at work yesterday, in a telephone conversation with Rachel Engler-Stringer.
I fell to the floor.
My co-workers, wonderful people that they are, took over my responsibilities and let me begin mourning.
From work I went to the Vimy Memorial (in Saskatoon, Canada) for the Peace Vigil, where the wonderful members of our community shared their mourning with mine, as the brutal machinery of death poises itself to destroy the lives of innocent Iraqis.
I'm not really sure why Ms Corrie's death has hit me so hard. Perhaps it is the fact that she was (was, in this context, is a horrible word) a member of the ISM. Perhaps it is that I have been in similar situations and feel guilty that I am still here. Perhaps when I hear that a Rachel has died in Palestine I immediately associate this with our Rachel. Regardless,
yesterday I cried; today I am numb.
I don't want to believe that there is a degree to which it hurts me so because it is a white person, an American, that has died, but I suppose that is possible. The ramifications of Ms Corrie's murder are certainly horrible for the ISM's work in Palestine, using our citizenship to stand between Palestinians and their oppressors. It is clear that we are all expendable, and perhaps that frightens me more than the knowledge that Palestinian and Arab lives have always been cheaply sold.
I am afraid that this day will be pushed aside for other deaths, new deaths, exploding, prime-time, made-for-TV deaths to be bandied about like batting averages and goal percentages. I am afraid that heroes like Rachel Corrie will go unmourned. I am afraid that I will lose the pain that I am feeling and move on, just so, and forget.
I am no longer a religious person, and in certain ways that troubles me. Not long ago I would have known that I could pray and have a Higher Power with which to share the guilt, shame, and rage. As an Atheist, all I have is other people. I think it is enough.
I think we will not forget Rachel Corrie. I think we will not forget the Palestinian people. I think we will oppose this new but old war in our different ways, singly and together, and ensure that no one who resists this empire will die in vain. I think we are the difference that will change this world, will topple this empire, and will move on to a better and more humane future. I believe it because I have to.
Something has to change. It might as well be now.
peace, love, solidarity,