Senior Lieutenant of the Moscow Fire Brigade rescuing a pet cat from a burning building
Firstly, we bow to the families affected by the terakt… can we share your grief? Secondly, we must face the rancorous and corrosive racism that caused this enormity. However, that’s not the task of today. Today’s labour is to bury the dead and comfort the survivors, as best one can.
I chose the last image to portray love purposefully. Love isn’t weak… it isn’t passive… it isn’t submissive. Love is strong… love is active… love resists! I’m thinking of an incident some years ago in Moscow… Colonel Yevgeni Chernyshov, the Chief of the Moscow Fire Brigade, went out with the “brothers” to a fire, even though he didn’t have to. After rescuing five people, he went upstairs to rescue more people, but the ceiling collapsed on him, killing him on the spot (he received a state funeral). That’s what love is… love sacrifices… love fights… love cares to the point that we no longer think of ourselves. Love hews to the truth and opposes falsehood wherever it appears or whosoever speaks it. Love is a burning desire to see things put right… not in a notional hereafter, but in the present. Love is powerful… it’s not weak in any sense of the word…
Love can defeat racism… but shall we let it?