30 June, 2008

God bless you, Bill Ford

I happened across this obituary today and am truly saddened by the news of Mr. Ford's passing. I grew up in Miami during the bloody Central American wars. I may have been young, but I absolutely remember the murder of Mr. Ford's sister, Ita, a Maryknoll sister, and her fellow Maryknoll sister Maura Clarke, Ursuline Sister Dorothy Kazel and Catholic lay worker Jean Donovan. The terrors of the death squads - some aided and financed by the U.S. - were, in many ways, local news in Miami. Growing up in a family for who watching 60 Minutes was our Sunday tradition, I was well aware early on that bad things happen. However, for a child, or for anyone I suspect, the torture, rape and murder of nuns is something altogether horribly different. I am still convinced that the murders of these women and the 1989 murders of six Jesuit priests, their housekeeper and her daughter at Central American University helped change my world view and played a role in making me the person I am today. I don't talk about either case much, but every now and then I think about them. Mr. Ford's determination in bringing some of those involved to justice for his sisters murder and his success should be an example to us all about not throwing up our hands in defeat in the face of overwhelming odds, that one person can make a difference. God bless, Bill.

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