Hamilton’s Heart for Haiti

I am pretty stoked to be attending this shindig on Sunday night.  Lots of homegrown Hamilton talent – The Arkells, Tom Wilson, Melissa McLelland and more.  So great.  The Genealogist and The Musician and I will be in attendance, along with The Musician’s good friend.  This will be her very first concert, which is a pretty cool thing in and of itself.

I watched the big ticket relief concerts – most of the Canadian one and the US one – and they were good.  Other than Ben Mulroney, no one seemed to be too full of themselves from what I could tell, and it was all done without a lot of glitz and over-the-top-ness, which can often take away from what’s important. 

[An aside:  maybe it’s because I am cynical by nature, but I do have a hard time when actors get up, and in subdued, earnest tones and with great concern on their faces, make their plea for help.  Because, you know, they’re actors.  It’s what they do.  But in spite of that, I was mostly impressed. ]

During the shows, The Genealogist and I had a discussion about other recent disasters and tried to remember what sorts of outpourings there were for, say, the Tsunami,  or Hurricane Katrina.  We couldn’t remember, and he even asked for input on Facebook.  He was told that there in fact WAS a concert for victims of Katrina.  No other details, just that of course there was.  No one who responded mentioned the Tsunami.  A quick search pulled up a bunch of links to benefit concerts and other events that happened for the Tsunami victims, as well as for Katrina, so they did happen, which is great, of course.

But what does it tell us when these events that were so horribly tragic, so devastating, with thousands, hundreds of thousands of lives lost fade into near oblivion when the next horribly tragedy strikes?  Are our collective memories that short?  They seem to be – mine certainly seems to be, as illustrated that I couldn’t remember much in the way of details.  But the truth is, it’s hard to remember – the events themselves, sure we know places and dates.  But even the dates are hard to recall after awhile, aren’t they?  Was it 2004 or 2005 for the Tsunami?  Unless you were directly affected, you might not remember exactly. 

The images out of Haiti are horrible, of course.  People are trying to give money, supplies, whatever they can, of course.  The devastation is absolute.  Eventually, aid will trickle and the images in our media will slow down and then ultimately stop altogether.  In December of 2010, the year-end lists will come out and the earthquake in Haiti will be included, and there will be a retrospective and survivors will be interviewed and reconstruction progress will be gauged…and then?  I really don’t want to think about the next catastrophe, the one that replaces Haiti on our collective radar.  But it’s going to happen. 

I just don’t want it to be too soon.

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