Aylan, today marks 5 days since the world saw your picture.
Your perfect little body looked as if it were resting peacefully, like you had spent the day playing. If one just glanced at your picture, one could imagine that you were just a regular boy. That you had chased down all of the mud puddles, goldfish crackers, and happiness in your day until you fell asleep where you stood, exhausted, with your shoes on.
What must it have taken for your parents to leave? To turn and run, to risk everything? What must you have lived through in your short three-years that made your parents decide that the hope of something better was worth risking so much? Was worth risking your life?
Time and again, humanity has been tested. History has shown us that, given the opportunity, bad men will do bad things. Those bad things hurt people. And, sadly, it takes tragedy for good men to act. I’m so sorry it has taken your sacrifice to get people to pay attention to the life you lived.
Please forgive our ignorance.
Your sleepy little frame lying in the surf tugs at my heart. “Wake up! Wake up! WAKE UP!” my heart screams. “OPEN YOUR EYES!” it pleads with urgency.
Your image was instantly seared into the hearts and minds of those who could have helped you
Could you have known you would become the face for a pleading humanity? Your image was instantly seared into the hearts and minds of those who could have helped you, a visual that will remain among the darkest examples of our modern world: Tiananmen Square, Baylee Almon, the Falling Man, you. Could you have known that you would represent the world’s plea against evil?
And now it is our time to act.
I see your dark, beautiful eyelashes, the ones I’m sure your mother kissed asleep, and can only imagine the tears they blinked away in those moments. I see your chubby little hand that she must’ve grabbed when she needed to keep you safe and I wonder how long she was able to hold onto it in the water. If life was even the slightest bit fair, you would be in Greece now, snuggled into her and feeling the peace that comes with safety. Instead, you are the baby sleeping in the surf, your image begging us all to help stop the madness.
I’m so sorry you weren’t that regular boy.
Many Kind Regards,
Aylan has become the face of the plea for humanity, one writer urges us to remember what that face really stands for.
Original image credit: Thomas Hawk