Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Marie Colvin

I did not know Marie Colvin when she was alive.

But the story of her death and what she accomplished while she was living has really moved me.

Today I was listening to NPR (I love Talk Radio. I only get to listen when I am driving alone). There was a womens voice quivering as she was reporting the death of "her friend and collegue Marie Colvin". The quiver coming through the radio waves darkly reminded me of when I was listening to NPR when the reporter described the second tower falling on 9/11. His voice, his tone, his odd intake of air as he continued talking has haunted me for years. Her voice will do the same.

In the broadcasting world Marie Colvin was well known. She was beautiful, independent, smart, articulate and took dangerous assignments to further our knowledge of the world. This dangerous assingnment was Syria. Today she and photographer Remi Ochlik were killed in Syrian government shelling in Homs.

NPR played Marie's last on air commentary less than 24 hours ago. She was describing the shrapnel in a babys chest after his home was hit by government attacks and how the make shift clinic (really an apartment with IV fluid bags hanging from metal hangers) doctors couldnt save the infant. Her voice was strong and infused with passion.

They interviewed her BFF, also a journalist, who had lunch with her in Berlin 2 weeks ago and who had talked to her via Skype less than 1.5 before she died. Marie told her friend that this was the most dangerous place she had even been and that she wanted Westerners to understand the gravity of what was happening by the hands of the Syria government. Her friend wimpered but didnt cry. This was rough to hear.

They interviewed her mom. Also strong and articulate. Her mom said that Marie had always been this way. At 13 she picketed, she was involved in the Vietnam displays, at 16 went to Brazil for her Senior year to learn International Policy. She was beautiful and loved shoes.

I googled her picture (yes I was driving :( ). A patch? Apparently this 56 year old women lost her eye in 2001 while on assignment when a bomb hit her in Sri Lanka. no wonder she was described as a force of nature.

Her colleagues respected her, her friends admired her and her family loved her.

I wish I would have known her.