Mohammed Abu Khdeir.
Four little boys playing soccer on the beach.
A young couple having a cup of coffee when a suicide bomber walks into the cafe where they are sitting.
Iraqi parents looking in on their children just as Shock and Awe begins over Baghdad.
A young woman arriving for work moments before a plane flies into the building.
All of these and countless more too easily named as collateral damage.
Unfortunate, but unavoidable in the larger landscape of power and politics and protection and aggression.
There is much I don’t know and much I don’t understand.
But I think I know these three things.
Those who are named as collateral damage do, in fact, have names.
All are someone’s son or daughter or someone’s mother or father.
And all are, to a large degree, innocent bystanders in someone else’s conflict or war.
Dismissing their deaths as collateral damage is wrong.
And damages our souls.
We quit pointing fingers and saying it is their fault or their problem and begin acknowledging that we,too, bear some responsibility and play some role in the larger landscape of what is happening nothing will change.