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Jun. 5 2010 - 9:56 am | 135 views | 1 recommendation | 4 comments

Rachel Corrie: Remembering the woman behind the ship

An undated picture shows US peace activist Rac...

Image by AFP via @daylife

Now the Israeli government has peacefully seized another ship headed to aid Gaza, named the Rachel Corrie. The naming of the ship was strategic — to remind people around the world about what is a mostly forgotten death in 2003, and a moniker that has blossomed into a rallying cry for advocates of Palestinians.

This was how the Los Angeles Times covered the story in 2003:

At 23, Rachel Corrie was the kind of person many people dream of becoming someday: passionate, creative, giving, courageous to the point of risking her life for a just cause. One-on-one, friends say, she was as soft as a petal.

Which makes the circumstances of her death — crushed by an Israeli army bulldozer on Sunday — all the more brutal for the stunned circle of family and friends she leaves behind …

If a brief mention in the major newspapers seemed to be the fate of Corrie’s memory, it was not. As her memorial site will attest, her story has only grown throughout the years. Today, it might find a whole new level — which was the point of the ship’s name.

Corrie once wrote to her mother:

I look forward to increasing numbers of middle-class privileged people like you and me becoming aware of the structures that support our privilege and beginning to support the work of those who aren’t privileged to dismantle those structures.


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    Thank you for writing about Rachel Corrie, the ship and the woman. I went to graduate school with a cousin of Rachel’s, and I know how devastating her death and the reaction of the Israeli government have been for her family. I also know how devoted Rachel was and her family is to the causes of peace and justice for Palestinians (and ultimately, for all who live within the borders of Israel). Thank you for bringing more attention to Rachel’s life and death, and to the many committed people who carry on the work of bringing aid and hope to the Palestinian people.

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    I’m so glad you did this; I had planned to blog this and am delighted you beat me to it. We need to know who this brave young woman was and knowing her name lives on in this fashion is really cool.

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    About 10 years ago, this lady in her 80s told me a childhood story about the day her mom tied her to a post on the porch. It was punishment for riding her tricycle past the curb at the end of their block. In the middle of the story she said to me, 'Wait, mom didn't tie me to the porch, she tied the tricycle to the porch. I just remembered that.' I've been fascinated by memory ever since.


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