Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Bookaversary: A tribute

I see it's worn spine and the urge to flip through the pages is almost impossible. Tired and true, it has withstood the test of time- five years-and continues to be an important place in both my bookshelf and heart.

"Shake Hands with the Devil" is the horrifying true story of one of the worst and bloodiest genocides in history and the man in the middle of the horror. Canadian General Romeo Dallaire was sent to Rwanda in 1993 as head of the U.N. Peacekeeping mission. In a little as a few months later, he and his small band of peacekeepers would be witnesses to cold-blooded massacres and the betrayal of the entire world. Receiving an order to get out, he refused, writing that it would be immoral to withdraw when thousands of lives were at stake. One million deaths and one hundred days later, Gen. Dallaire would go back home a broken man in search of death: to rid himself of the guilt, pain, and sorrow of what he had seen.

On that Sunday morning in March of '06, my dad and I walked out of the mall with that wonderful treasure (I also purchased Samantha Power's "A Problem from Hell"). Weeks later, I would weep for the millions killed, for the indifference of the U.N., and overall for Gen. Dallaire. Yes, I will admit it has taken on something within me and replaced with both hope and strength. Hope that goodness can prevail and strength it takes to make it through the darkest of hours.

After all these years, I will always carry this important piece literature within the walls of my heart. It has shattered my heart but made me whole. The subject is tragic and heartbreaking yes, however it is an important example of courage, compassion, and hope through the darkest hours of humanity.

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