Thursday, June 25, 2009

Those Images Engraved in My Mind

Throughout my life there have been images of events that have become engraved in my mind--images so lucid that it is as if I had been there. I believe that many of these images in my mind are also stored in the minds of many others and have influenced us to the point of perhaps changing history.

The images in engraved in my mind include: JFK in Dallas at the moment he is shot; Martin Luther King, Jr., standing in front of his motel room moments before he is executed; the South Vietnamese police chief shooting the captured Viet Cong man in the head; the Vietnamese child running down the road, her clothing having been burn away by napalm; the dying student shot by the National Guard at Kent State University; flowers being placed in the muzzles of the rifles of soldiers in the Philippines; the "tank man" of Tiananmen Square.

A few days ago another image was engraved into my mind. It is of a young woman named Neda dying in the midst of a protest in Tehran:

Before that video/photograph was taken Neda Agha Soltan was unknown to me or to the world. Now, as a result of her tragic death, her face is engraved in the minds of millions.

As with the other photographs engraved in my mind, this image of Neda has stirred me into action. I had been watching developments in Iran since the election with more than a little interest. I have email friends in Tehran; I have college friends from Iran.Since being confronted with the images of of Neda Agha Soltan dying, my interest in these protests have gone from passive observing to active involvement. My avatar on Twitter is now tinted green in support of democracy in Iran.

I have watched the news more closely and signed petitions and written letters to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, President Obama, and the United Nations regarding Iranian democracy. I feel at one with the protestors. All of this is, for me, in response to an image engraved in my mind that shall never leave me.


  1. Such a sad affair that young woman's death and what the people of Tehran are going through. :(

  2. the really sad thing is that the elections do not carry the weight that it does here in America.The Ayatollahs are the real power in Iran. Maybe they need a policy of separation of Mosque and State.

  3. This was a very moving post, Nick. I can tell you put your whole heart into it.

  4. I know how you feel, I'm absorbing way too much of this and the image of Neda sketched in my mind will forever be there...

    Your heart is just too big for words!

  5. I, too, have some of those images in my mind.

  6. Nick ~ your activism, caring and focus are SO inspiring, TFS!!!
    oxo ~*~ Patty

  7. Akelamalu: Yes, very sad. When I first saw the video and before I understood that she had died, I felt angry that someone has shot her. After I perceived she was dying in the video, I felt very, very sorrowful. I really dislike violence.

    Mike Golch: You're so right! That is why one of the letters I emailed was to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, as if it will do any good. However, all one can do is hope and pray.

  8. I think it's terrible the way the people of Iran are being treated by power hungry and despotic bullies. Good on you, Nick, for standing up and being counted.

  9. Thomas: Thank you, my friend. You know me well: I did put my heart into the one 100%. I suppose that's why it took almost 4 days to write it.

    Deb: Thank you. Sudden death, especially when it comes to one as young as Neda, hits me hard. I think of her potential and life lost because a bullet just happened to hot her and my heart breaks. May she be at peace.

  10. Angus: I suppose every one has those images. You and I first met when the image of John Kennedy's assassination was fresh in both of our minds. As I remember, it was one of the things that brought us together.

    Magpie's Nest: Thank you, Patty, for your kind words. I suppose if my words inspire or enlighten even one other human being, they are of value.

    Puss-in-Boots : I agree. I think that you have hit on the right phrase: "power hungry and despotic bullies" seems to me to be an excellent description of the "leaders" of Iran's so-called Islamic Republic.

  11. The government of Iran and what it is doing to its people is frightening.

  12. I agree with ThomasLB. I can tell that you put your heart in to this.

  13. I hope Nada's death will not be in vain. We will never know what she could have accomplished in her young life.

    Great post Nick. Do you think violence will ever end?

  14. A very moving post, Nick. Many of the images engraved upon your mind are engraved upon mine. Let us hope that this death was not in vain.

  15. We must never forget Kent State either, as you said.

  16. I think all those images are their to help us try and prevent further such actions. I feel for the people all over who are trying to survive such situations. Neda was so beautiful and now she will be forever young and a symbol of Hope. No one likes violence. However we must not be passive and let thugs rule. Peace

  17. Abbey: I agree. I also realize from studying history that what is happening in Iran is nor unique. I think that those who hunger for power will go to any means to get it, or as in Iran today, keep it.

    Fiochra: Thank you. You and Thomas are excellent observers.

    Finding Pam: Thank you. As for the ending of violence, I have read that the Inuit peoples say that we humans must experience 12 generations of peace before violence and wars will end for ever. If that be true, I fear that we humans will never become peaceful creatures.

  18. Welshcakes Limoncello: Thank you. I agree; I think that, at the very least, the death of Neda has been a message to the world that goes beyond the Iranian election results to the oppressive nature of the present leadership of the Islamic Republic.

    James Higham: Yes, I agree. The image of the violence of Kent state is a reminder to me that the same oppressive force of the government against its people is a part of the political culture of the United States as well as of Iran.

    Lady Di Tn: I believe that you have hit upon something that is very important! I agree that such images engraved in our minds serve the purpose of reminding us humans of what has been so that we may do our best to prevent its reoccurrence. Neda's beauty and youth add to the tragedy of her being murdered.

    Yes! If we passively sit by and watch the evil and the violence it is as if we condone it. I believe that we MUST take whatever action is open to us to oppose it.

  19. Thanks, Nick.
    You are a great Man, Nick. I love this work. Why violence? Why? Why this tragedy? Why?
    What live, my GOD, what live!

    Have a nice weekend,

  20. You know, it probably wouldn't have been so attention-getting if she were ugly.
    ` Anyway, it's sad no matter what. She was my age, too! What did she have going for her?
    ` Still, I think Michael Jackson's death has everyone's attention now, considerably more than even Farrah Fawcett's death on the same day!

    P.S. I've been glad to have some funny videos starring Lou Ryan, on my Sci-Wack blog, to get me through all this tragedy, not to mention, drama going on at home.

  21. These images are imprinted in my mind also~! I have people in Iran that i care about. They are close to my heart and my soul cries out for the injustice that they have had to endure over the years. Thank you for posting this. I hope you do not mind i copied one of the images you have here that is a support for the Iranians. I would like to post it on my blog.

  22. david santos: Thank you. There are many time when I feel frustrated by the injustice in this world and wish I could do more than write blogs and send letters. Blessing, my friend!

  23. S E E Quine: You know, Spoony, when the video of Neda dying first came out on the Internet, folks could tell how beautiful she was. I think it was the tragedy of her death/murder at such a young age that engraved her image in the cosmic mind of the world.

    I'll drop by and see the videos today.

  24. Tracy: You many use anything you find on my blog at any time.

    I understand your feelings. I have several friends in Iran. We communicate via email, but I have not heard from them since before the election. I know that a lot of messages are getting out of Iran via Twitter, but I do not know how to find my friends on Twitter.

  25. You're right. Nothing really burns images in people's minds like people dying.

    Must be why they had to kill Lou Ryan.

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