LtdSharp when necessary, mild when possible… With the same passion with which he makes his case, top lawyer Walter Damen (52) comments in ‘Dag Allemaal’ what concerns him and you.
The visit to the cemeteries on November 1 confronted me again with the fallen from the world wars. Beautiful white crosses or real gravestones with the photo of often very young men who lost their lives for their homeland and our freedom. Suddenly I thought back to how it was announced a few years ago that many war graves from the cemetery in Heusden near Ghent would be removed. I was appalled and sent another email to the mayor explaining why this was necessary and whether this was the way to show respect for our national heroes and the sacrifices they had made. Apparently the concessions had expired, but there would be a memorial.
I was there on November 1. It had become a beautiful place in the cemetery, with an impressive, far too long list of the fallen. The specter of all the names of the people who were slaughtered during the war in Ukraine and Palestine suddenly appeared in my head. It became even worse when the memorial plaque transformed itself in my head into a list with all the names of the innocent children who died as a result of the current war violence.
It is time for the population to take to the streets peacefully
In a survey I once conducted, one of the questions asked whether a child can ever be responsible for the behavior of its parents. All politicians and citizens, except a few idiots, agreed that children are never to blame. And yet people continue to bomb children in Gaza. Refugee camps, hospitals, schools… No distinction, everyone must die. We will include the innocent children.
Dead, bombed, under the rubble, orphaned or at least traumatized for the rest of their lives. It all exploded in my tormented head, there at the cemetery in Heusden, where I was actually there to commemorate the people who had passed away naturally. Would Putin, Hamas and Israel’s leaders still sleep well? Would those child corpses haunt their minds at night or would the hunger for war and destruction be too great for that? How do you later explain that our ‘civilized’ world tolerated this, after all the horrific memories of the World Wars?
That is incomprehensible to me. I have assisted many criminals who have killed. Often on a whim, or because of circumstances you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy. There are no extenuating circumstances here. Not for Hamas, which killed innocent partying youth, not for Putin, who set the world on fire again out of self-interest, and certainly not for Israel, which is committing war crimes. It is time for the population to take to the streets peacefully. As a signal that this will not be tolerated.
COLUMN. Walter Damen about the incident with Conner Rousseau: “Unacceptable to hide behind drunkenness” (+)
COLUMN. Walter Damen about ‘invisible enemies’: “Only calmness can save you”
COLUMN. Walter Damen visits his old Jesuit professor: “Just because a number of individuals make mistakes does not mean that an entire institution becomes bad”
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