Let me just say that I’m trying to process what’s going on in our world and how it is affecting this community as a whole. I have done much thinking and praying as to what extent I address it here. I obviously attempt to keep political dialogue far from this site because we all know political discourse is no conductor of love or encouragement, and those are the things we deeply strive to promote here.
However, it is also my intention to show support to those in our community who are hurting and/or scared and need to know we stand with them in their days of brokenness. Ignoring the current events and their undeniable effects on this community is also folly and wholly unfair to our aviation brothers and sisters who need to hear our affirmation of their loss and grief. When they hurt, we all hurt. I want them to know that we stand and kneel with them in their moment of bitter sorrow.
At no time and for no reason is it ever okay for an airplane full of innocent lives to be blown out of the sky by a missile. It is an egregious act of pure darkness, the depths of which I cannot (nor would I want to) comprehend. I, like most, am an emotional cocktail with regards to this barbarity, for barbarity it is. I am shocked. I am angry. I am disgusted. I am broken. My heart cries out in unassuaged anguish for the pain and sorrow reverberating through our community and world in the wake of this event. This affects us all; this is a human tragedy.At no time and for no reason is it ever okay for an airplane full of innocent lives to be blown out of the sky by a missile. It is an egregious act of pure darkness, the depths of which I cannot comprehend. Click To Tweet
In the same unspeakable manner, we have lost yet another member of our own community (a Pilot) in the recent Kenyan attacks. There are many members of our community who know and love them. Yet another tragic and needless loss. Another child left fatherless, another wife left husbandless, another world destroyed. For what? For nothing…nothing, I tell you.
More sorrow. More loss. More tears. Not just for those from our own little community, but for all those who have been lost and for all those who mourn them. Truly, for the whole world as it sinks deeper into the mire of hatred and fear from hence such acts of sheer cowardice hail. When will it ever end? How many more lives must we lose? Those are the desperate cries of my heart today.
I don’t know a lot. I certainly don’t understand how people hate one another so obdurately that they could fathom take the precious life from another human being. It’s an act beyond comprehensibility. I hope I never understand, because to perceive such darkness is perhaps to become darkness itself.
Here’s what I do know. As the very wise Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., once stated, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hatred cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
There is going to be a lot of dark diatribe and misdirected hatred that is stymied by the state of current affairs in our world. I pray that we can be more – that we do not find ourselves being dragged down and becoming the very thing we claim to despise. I have learned that there is a fine line between what we hate and becoming it. Please understand, I am not saying that political and military discussion and/or action are not appropriate with regard to the current circumstances, only that it is not our focus of topic here. We all have our differing opinions regarding these things, and there are other great resources and outlets for those discussions. However, the mission of this page is and will remain the support of aviation marriage and one another.
Our aviation community is an international one comprised of beautiful men and women from around the globe, of all nationalities, of all beliefs, of all colors, of all religions. I want you to know that I love each of you. I know that all of you are being affected in some way by these events, and my heart hurts for you. I will not grasp onto stereotypes, assumptions, and premises but will rather reach out beyond those things and firmly grasp the hands of my people around the world in compassionate solidarity. The way we beat hatred is together. Let us stand together and love one another.
I hope that the members of this community will follow my example and show love, grace, mercy, and kindness to one another and to the greater world as a whole despite whatever cultural, political, religious, ethnic, or other differences we might have. We are not defined by the actions of those filled with hatred but rather our chosen response to it.
I will not respond to fear with fear. I will not respond to hatred with hatred. I will not respond to darkness with darkness. Instead I will love you all fiercely and with open arms. Because the thing that hatred fears most?
I am sending prayers from my very broken heart to all who have been affected by these loathsome acts. I want you to know that your fellow aviation family bleeds with you and are lifting you up in our thoughts and prayers. We cannot begin to imagine your pain, and there are no words that will bring back your loved ones or comfort your shattered hearts. But know that you are not alone on this journey. I am on my knees today, tears streaking my face, hands lifted on your behalf. You are dearly loved.
Darkness cannot inhabit the same space where light resides. Friends, let your lights shine.
~Angelia (a fellow Pilot Wife)
I am including these two photos because they deserve to be remembered and acknowledged.
The first is of Katerina Gaponenko, the now widow of Captain Gaponenko who was aboard the Ukraine International aircraft when it was shot down over Iran. She is kissing a photo of her husband at a memorial held in Ukraine. In light of building tensions, she had begged her husband not to fly this flight, but being the pilot he was, he fulfilled his duty. For his loyalty, he lost his life. This destroys me. [image news.sky.com]
The second is of aviator Dustin Harrison, posted by his now widow Hope. Dustin was one of the people killed this morning in the Kenyan terror attack. “My beautiful husband – my silent HERO. You will never be forgotten. Fly high my handsome pilot.” [photo & quote Hope Harrison via FB]
Let’s keep these families, and all affected in our hearts and prayers through the difficult days to come.