Today I saw a photograph I cannot unsee. The photo of a small lifeless boy, three years old, lying face down on the shore of a beach, the waves lapping over his head. He, his brother aged five and his mother drowned when their boat overturned as they made a desperate bid for freedom from Syria and a safer life.
For weeks we here in Ireland have listened to the many news reports of the numbers who have drowned when over crowded boats sank. We listened but we didn’t hear. We tut tutted and sometimes we paused for a moment and wondered at how awful their plight was, right before we went back to living.
Until we saw that photo.
I felt compelled to write about it, to rage and to call for action. Then this morning I read a post which said all I wanted to say, and said it beautifully.
The post was written by ‘The Busy Mamas’. Here is a small snippet of her post titled so aptly,
‘Should we pack up all we can carry and bring our children to an unknown – but hopefully safer, future?
Should we trust some bloke who says he’ll get us across the narrowest stretches of the Mediterranean in exchange for every penny we have and more?
Should we put our kids to sea in a raft that looks like it couldn’t stay afloat in a swimming pool?
Should we wake our children to continue on a journey to places they are barely wanted nor welcomed, as we go in search of a peaceful life?
Should I hold onto one chubby hand over another?
Should I save myself before reaching back for those I cannot live without?
Should we do all this knowing that if we don’t make it the world will not remember our forgotten babies?’
If you read nothing else today I urge you to read it here.
By our silence we are enabling this wrong to continue, we can no longer pretend we do not know, it’s time to speak up and demand Ireland does the right thing. These people need our help.
This little boy needed our help.
Photo via google images, Freedom House.