From Jamie Peipon: “A missile strikes a city.” That’s what we’re always reading; but these are people we’re talking about. People programmed and launched that missile towards the city of Dnipro. But the missile didn’t hit “a city.” It hit Inna. Inna was 25 years-old and was burned alive somewhere near that pile of rubble, which used to be a gas station, in the picture below. Real people aimed and shot a missile at a civilian gas station and they killed Inna – a real person. Inna surely had plans, hopes, and dreams; not the least of those plans, hopes, and dreams were surely for the unborn child that she carried inside her who was also killed – right near that pile of rubble. They killed Inna and her unborn child. Inna’s husband was also at the gas station. He survived the attack and is currently in intensive care. He is fighting for his life. If he miraculously survives and wakes up, the last thing he’ll remember is an explosion. The first thing he’ll find out is that the moment of that “flash” and the “bang” (that must be indelibly seared in his memory) is the exact moment that his wife and child were murdered and taken away from him forever. When you read about “cities,” you’re reading about real people, with real names, and real families, to whom they’ll never come home.
These days, the ones when there are lulls in the reports about the counterattacks, are the worst. Attention turns towards the details of the recent major stories; the stories behind the stories. In one sense, life is easier without these stories. In a bigger and more important sense, they’re the very reason that Ukraine is worth fighting for.
“O God, save me by your name,
and vindicate me by your might.
O God, hear my prayer;
give ear to the words of my mouth.
For strangers have risen against me;
ruthless men seek my life;
they do not set God before themselves.”