By Seth Richardson
In the Harry Potter books and films, Lord Voldemort is referred to “he whose name shall not be spoken.” This is because in that fantasy world, names and words have power, and to use the name is to invoke the power of evil. In religion and mythology the invocation of evil by naming it is something to be avoided as well.
This principle of refusing to name evil would serve our nation, and the world, far better than the present obsessive compulsion to know everything about an evil person who murders others out of a narcissistic need for attention.
Political assassins from Caeser’s killer to the murderer of John F. Kennedy have as at least part of their motive that their names will live on long after they are dead. The murderous thugs of Columbine, the Texas Tower, and Islamic religious fanatics all revel in the publicity they engender with their shocking crimes against humanity.
It’s long past time that we all deny them the fame, or infamy that their narcissism drives them to seek by killing others.
Nowhere is this more true than the murderous rampage in Tucson. The evil smirk on the killer’s face in his booking photo is proof enough that he is enjoying every second of his eternity of infamy. We must deny him his satisfaction and his twisted victory.
To do this, we must forget that he exists. We must forget his name, his face, and anything to do with him. We must extirpate him from the public record and from our minds. We must shun him and forget that he ever existed. No person should utter his name, no media outlet should show his picture. He should at best be locked away in a dank, dark hole somewhere with nothing but a number to identify him, forgotten by all, until he rots away and dies in well-deserved obscurity.
Instead, we must forever remember the names and faces of his victims. We must cherish them and keep them in our minds and always remember what they sacrificed.
We must remember those who were wounded, not all of whom have been yet identified.
And we must remember and laud the names of those who reacted and defended others, at the cost of their own lives, like Dorwan Stoddard, who threw his body over his wife and was killed by the bullets meant for her. And we must remember Col. Bill Badger (Ret.), Patricia Maisch, Roger Salzgaber, Joseph Zamudio and Daniel Hernandez, all of whom, without a moment’s hesitation, turned and looked death squarely in the eye as they took down and disarmed the killer, saving many others from death.
They are all worthy of eternal remembrance and honor.
Ever since Todd Beamer and his fellow heroes on Flight 93 screwed their courage to the sticking-point and determined that they would not die in vain, and since the firefighters and police at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon ran towards the inferno as others ran away, Americans are more and more recognizing that we are all responsible for one another, and that when evil attacks us, we have a civic duty to do everything we are humanly capable of to thwart that evil, even at risk to our own lives.
That is the legacy of September 11, 2001, and January 8, 2011 that we must burn into our national psyche, not the names and images of those who would murder others for their own sick satisfaction.
© 2011 Altnews