War and peace

What a difference one week makes.

Just last Sunday, I met Gino Strada under clear and sunny skies. We exchanged stories, shared anecdotes about Emergency staff members and wondered how the willow in G.’s backyard, unable to withstand the force of winds, had toppled to the ground the night before.

And this evening, I received word (via Facebook no less) that Gino was to be interviewed on RAI (Italian television) about the three Italian Emergency medical staff who were being held hostage in Afghanistan. Facebook flagged groups such as Libero Subito! and Io Sto Con Emergency, urging people to join in protest against the heinous kidnapping of these men in scrubs.

What a mad, mad, mad world.

I watched the interview with Gino and saw just how much his demeanor had changed –  within a matter of days. He might be a man whose feathers are not easily ruffled, but violate his work and domain and he will not stand by in silence. Gino is, after all, the paterfamilias of a cohesive, purposeful, non-political tribe that seeks only to help and heal, to intervene for the sake of saving a life.

Such absurdity in the face of war, of poverty, of dire need.

Pace e libertà. Is it really so much to ask for?

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