Monday, January 19, 2009

In Memory: Hertz, King, LaPorte, Morrison, Palach

Today is Monday, 19 January 2009.

In the USA/USE, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is celebrated.

In 1969, on 16 January, a 20-year-old Czech student, Jan Palach, immolated himself in Wenceslas Square in Prague, in resistance to the USSR invasion of his country the previous August. Palach died on this date in 1969.

I think also often of:

Alice Hertz, 82, who immolated herself on a Detroit street corner on 16 March 1965 (died 26 March) in resistance to the Indochina War.

Norman Morrison, 31, who immolated himself on the Pentagon Lawn, beneath the office windows of Robert MacNamara, Secretary of War, on 2 November 1965, in resistance to the Indochina War.

Roger LaPorte, 22, who immolated himself outside the United Nations headquarters on 9 November 1965 (died 10 November), in resistance to the Indochina War.

Today we honour all those who gave their lives in resistance to evil, and in hope of peace, freedom, and justice. Their struggles must be our lives.


Anonymous Often a Lurker said...

And it's true - memory won't burn. Happy MLK Day to you HH.

11:23 PM  
Anonymous wondering said...

These people's "plan of action" didn't seem to be effective, however. I applude their passion but question their approach.

8:14 AM  
Blogger HH said...

These actions were compounded of intense commitment, desperate and frustrated sorrow, and a hope against hope that people might be awakened from the violence of indifference. Their failure speaks more of the failures of others than of theirs.

I think we can say that such actions, while honourable, should never again be undertaken.

8:33 AM  

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