It could be any of us

A year ago, near the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, I wrote this in my Day One journal about a picture, published on the front page of the New York Times, of a family dead while trying to flee the violence:

Ukraine. No-Fly-Zones. Not enough support. War. Those are the drumbeat of the news the last several days. President of Ukraine wants NATO to do a no-fly-zone over Ukraine. Asking the wrong group.

Then this on the front page of the NYT today:

The image of that family killed is really hitting me hard right now. Makes me want to cry, scream, whatever. Mostly it’s making me anxious. This is absolutely disgusting and now makes me wonder why the fuck we aren’t doing anything. The Russians are disgusting.—Still haunted by that image. Innocent people, children, fleeing the horror happening to them only to end up dead in the street. Everyone in their winter coats, the boy lying there with a small suitcase he was pulling. The girl with her backpack. The two adults, and all of them in winter coats.

I’m also haunted by the constant barrage of videos and photos of children who on any other day would look normal, with their backpacks with cartoon characters, and stuffed animals, fleeing violence and death.

Close to tears right now just writing this. This is absolutely unspeakable, and all due to some maniac who wants to rebuild the Russian Empire, helped by all of the men in power who could do something, and aren’t.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen this but it certainly is the first time we’ve seen it up close and personal with everyone able to take pictures and videos because of their smartphones. It is truly shocking and slams home that this could be any of us. The photo isn’t really graphic in the sense we normally think of in situations like this. That’s why it’s bother me so much. The plainness of those 2 dead adults and 2 dead kids. It could be any of us.

March 7, 2023