Sunday, May 18, 2008

Grief for a Gone Generation

Tens of thousands were trapped in collapsed buildings in China's most devastating earthquake in 30 years, majority of them children. China didn't lose just the lives of these children, it has lost a future of promising and yet unfulfilled lives. It has lost a generation.

Almost the entirety of child casualties in the collapsed school buildings are kids with no siblings, a result of China's One Child Policy to control their runaway population growth during the last 25 years. In some towns, all the children have been reported dead or missing, leading to the loss of an entire generation. In many towns, parents wait patiently but anxiously atop piles of rubble, holding the school books and photos of their children like religious objects, waiting for news of children being rescued. They have been at vigil since the earthquake struck, but have slowly and painfully accepted that there is little hope of finding their children alive.

The Chinese are resilient, but many grieve for the lost generation in a way that expresses the fact that their lives will never be complete, their pain never will be healed, nor their guilt ever be forgiven. Many believe they should have been the victim rather than their child. The short cuts and violations of China's building code are being blamed for the collapse of school buildings, even those newly built. Investigations are underway in all earthquake affected areas. But for the parents of the still missing children and those found dead, it is the collapse of the meaning of their lives and the purpose of their existence that will make their grief for this lost generation, constant and eternal.

Haaarrrrwwwwk...Twoooooph... Ting!


SheR. said...

Children are all innocent. Who can we blame? The government for implementing the One Child policy? The greedy contractors who built those buildings that collapsed?

Most of the time when a disaster happens, our human nature's first reaction is to point a finger at someone and blame them for it.

But can we really blame someone for a natural calamity?

Kim said...

this is so heart breaking Durano !!
I saw a young Mum who is refusing to eat...she is so devastated over the loss of her only child...her four year old daughter...
so very very sad....
and so many tragedies...
I cannot find the words to express my sadness for the absolute pain that they are suffering....

The Fitness Diva said...

Wow. How horrifically sad and devastating. I can't imagine what it must be like in those places that lost their entire population of kids.
That's just mind boggling!
My heart goes out to them all.

durano lawayan a.k.a. brad spit said...

Hi Sher,

The earthquake was indeed very strong. However, almost all the school buildings collapsed. In other areas, buildings were damaged but did not fall flat on the ground, except the school buildings. It looks like short cuts were made in construction and quick profits too.

The schools were sacrificed by the contractors, and children are the paid the price for it. :-) --Durano, done!

durano lawayan a.k.a. brad spit said...

Hello Kim,

It is really tragic. The One Child Policy was not in the minds of the contractors who built the schools that have now been paid for by children's lives and a generation of people.

Most are too old to have any more children.No one will carry their name and their hopes have all but died with the tragedy.

I doubt if they can ever recover, but knowing enough about their culture, it will be a suffering they will endure for as long as they are alive, a life that has lost its meaning and purpose. I can only say prayers. :-( --Durano, done!

durano lawayan a.k.a. brad spit said...

Hi Fitness Diva,

The devastation itself is staggering. Even the rescuers, no matter how well trained they were, were overwhelmed by the scale and magnitude of this tragedy.

No pain can equal the loss of an only child who perished the way these children did. Pain was written all over the faces of the dead bodies recovered.

It's a tragedy of humongous proportions. :-(--Durano, done!

Zhu said...

Unfortunately I don't think anyone can be blame for natural disasters... even though I truly feel for the parents who lost their only child.

I had stopped watching Chinese TV report this afternoon because I was on the verge of tears. The distress was obvious.

durano lawayan a.k.a. brad spit said...

Hi Zhu,

True, no one can be blamed for a natural calamity. But when only school buildings collapse to the ground while others are severely damaged but remain standing, it begs the question, why?

Certain city and town officials have connived with corrupt builders to erect sub-standard school buildings. These have been seen in the mixture of cement and steel, as well as the structural framework, which didn't follow China's building code. Some of the collapsed schools were newly built.

It is distressing to watch and see the painful loss of the parents - some totally broken in spirit by the death of an only child. :-( --Durano, done!

SheR. said...

Durano.. remember the earthquake in Taiwan years ago?? Many died because of those buildings too..
We saw pictures in newspapers.. buildings were being made from plastic buckets?? Absurd? But true.. so many died.
Corruption is more than evil. But what can we do as citizens when all the politicians in a country are corrupt?

SheR. said...

Hi Durano.. I found an article which may be interesting for you.


durano lawayan a.k.a. brad spit said...

Hi Sher,

Yes I remember the Taiwan earthquake and the investigations that followed after so many deaths.

Corruption is a magnet for people in power. That's why people must be vigilant. Groups like bloggers can expose these evil deeds and publicize it to shame those concerned to resignation. Or better yet, if the corruption can be prevented.

The current cell phones with video capability combined with a vigilant population can put a stop to these. Once the video clip is released among bloggers and through YouTube, the whole came may be placed under investigation before it can even wreak havoc on those that will eventually be affected.

Technology must be used to safeguard the powerless and prevent horrendous deaths as this one in China. :-) --Durano, done!

durano lawayan a.k.a. brad spit said...

Hi Again Sher,

Thanks for the link. I'll check it out later. :-) --Durano, done!