On a street corner on the edge of downtown Binghamton, New York, there is a small park on a street corner.
The passerby sees glass birds on a pole.
The fifth anniversary of this loss was just a few days ago.
Roberta King was the teacher. She was subbing for the regular teacher, who had taken the day off to celebrate her 40th wedding anniversary. Some of my readers have enjoyed my December Hanukkah House posts showing dolls and dollhouses - many of these belonged to Mrs. King. She was the mother of 10. Even at 72, she was refusing to retire.
Marc and Marie Bernard, husband and wife, left behind two children, a 12 year old and a six year old.
Lan Ho's husband was also in the classroom with her and tried to shield his wife's body with his. He survived. She didn't.
Everyone - ordinary people from different walks of life, and different parts of the world.
This is the honor roll of the dead (taken from Wikipedia)
- Parveen Ali, age 26, an immigrant from northern Pakistan
- Almir Olimpio Alves, age 43, a Brazilian Ph.D. in Mathematics and visiting scholar at Binghamton University, attending English classes at the Civic Association
- Marc Henry Bernard, age 44, an immigrant from Haiti
- Maria Sonia Bernard, age 46, an immigrant from Haiti
- Li Guo, age 47, a visiting scholar from China
- Lan Ho, age 39, an immigrant from Vietnam
- Layla Khalil, age 53, an Iraqi mother of three children
- Roberta King, age 72, an English language teacher
- Jiang Ling, age 22, an immigrant from China
- Hong Xiu "Amy" Mao Marsland, age 35, a nail technician who immigrated from China in 2006
- Dolores Yigal, age 53, a recent immigrant from the Philippines
- Hai Hong Zhong, age 54, an immigrant from China
- Maria Zobniw, age 60, a part-time caseworker at the Civic Association, whose parents were from the Ukraine.
If you look at the names, and some of the faces, you will realize that people from all over the world, and from different races (as our culture defines race - yes, that is defined by culture) died that day. As equals.
Next week, I hope I can turn to happier topics