The Ghost Of Omagh Essay

1894 words - 8 pages

From the depths of the sky, my view is unintelligible. Some say angels live up here amongst the clouds. But why would they want to? Much more interesting things go on down below! As I draw closer to the realm of men, I see the nations, brimming with tiny souls full of big ambitions. Just like them I once was, centuries ago. But now, I am nothing but a ghost. A mere spirit persistent in my observation of the miseries, tragedies, triumphs and scandals of mankind; with tastes some might call voyeuristic. The seasons may change and the centuries pass, but in all my surveillance mankind remains the same. He lives and breathes, fights and strives, kills and dies. Sometimes he lives in cities, other times in towns. One of these towns he lives in is known to me as Omagh. From far away, the town resembles a tiny ink blot upon the parchment of Ireland. Closer to the ground, this blemish becomes recognisable as roads and houses and people scurrying about like ants. Cars and dogs, trees and pubs, shops and feet menace the ground for a few modest miles. Some of these cars carry people; one carries a bomb. In the very heart of this vibrant country town, I see smoke curling up in wisps from the street, mingled with cries, sirens and fear. The weather is cold, the coldness of death. But then it usually is cold in Ireland. On this chilly Irish day I see from afar a boy, a young man. His face is plain and friendly, sporting the nonexistent tan of a good Irishman. His height is average; a little taller than his father’s. His hair dark, thick and straight. His eyes are deep and shadowy, just like his mother’s. His smile is wide and disarming. His accent very Irish. But today...Today his eyes are closed, his charming smile gone. The strong Irish brogue departed forever from his lips. Blood drips from the corners of his mouth, and from his torn flesh and gaping wounds. His body bears the touch of death. Oh, that Death would keep his fingers to himself! Sadly, Aiden is not the first casualty of his own cruel race, nor will he be the last. In my travels to and fro across the earth, I have witnessed the deaths of a thousand million innocents. In Palestine. In Bali. In Tiananmen Square. In the Twin Towers. In Cambodia. In Auschwitz. In the Gulags. On the Western Front. And now, through a little window in a tiny street in the wee town of Omagh, I see Aiden’s mother crying on her husband’s chest. Their two daughters are huddled in each others’ arms. Tears flow freely, words do not. And with each moment of observation I grow ashamed at my intrusion. My unseen presence at this sacred rite of mourning is for nought, for I bear no means of comforting the grieving, no magic to cure death, no glue to bind broken hearts. Not even a scythe or cowl have I, with which to haunt Aiden’s murderers! Ach, what a sorry ghost I am. I fear philosophy and contemplation are my only assets, and these are poor consolation to those who have lost a son. Philosophy is...

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