24 June 2004 - Thursday

History is boring

I wept twice in the last two days while listening to the radio.

Yesterday morning, a story on Emmett Till sent me reeling. In 1955, Till (a fourteen-year-old black) was murdered in Mississippi. Apparently, he was kidnapped and killed by the husband of a white woman at whom he had whistled. When the battered body was found, it was placed in a sealed coffin. Till's mother, however, had the coffin unsealed. Despite the grotesque mutilation of the body, she staged a open-casket funeral. Thousands of people viewed the corpse, and Jet Magazine published a photograph. I will not describe the horror of it here, but I have seen that photograph. But the thought of a mother . . . .

This afternoon, I heard a story about the return of a fallen soldier's remains to his family. I lost my composure when I heard that the soldier's father placed one of his own medals from Vietnam in the coffin.

| Posted by Wilson at 20:02 Central | TrackBack
| Report submitted to the Life Desk