I had planned on writing a rhetorical analysis of the currently hot stem cell debates, but as I watched the news that morning, stem cells took a back seat to the painful events unfolding before the nation. For that week, I lived the events, I breathed every report that CNN brought into my home. When the week was over, I sat down to write. When the final thesis was completed and delivered to my university, I never looked back. I've not written about it since.
Now, when I think of that week and that work, I still see in my mind some of the images that most never saw, like a "perfectly severed hand." I see the couple who fell or jumped to their deaths. I see the white policeman with his arm tenderly around his older African-American companion, a woman who leaned into him. Their posture, their glances spoke of a neighborly love that they seemed to share. She, covered in gray dust, he casually holding a cup of something in his other hand. He embraced her tenderly and she acknowledged his protection and acceptance of his care. They walked slowly away from the horror, together, as if they had all the time in the world. It was the defining visual for me. For that moment it seemed that racism no longer existed and Americans united like never before. A moment of beauty in a sea of tragedy.
Tonight, I may revisit my gallery of images, I may reread parts of my thesis, I may even revisit that first day's news sequence that ended so peacefully. But, I will never forget even the smallest detail of that day. I still tear and I still feel deeply for every lost friend, co-worker, mother, father, child, . . . I remember!