The Mayan belief is that during these mid-autumnal days the veil between this world and the world of the dead becomes very thin, and our dead loved ones are able to return to be with us again. So Mexican homes set up an altar to remember their beloved deceased. On them they post photos of their departed. They outfit the altar with favorite foods and beverages of their loved ones--including even their favorite vices, like tobacco or alcohol. They adorn the altar with flowers and candles as well as with special candies and statues in the shapes of skulls or skeletons.
Our nation has been directly and indirectly responsible for many, many deaths this year--many among the deceased are innocent civilians.
This post is a virtual altar, a place for us to remember and to lament those dead, most of whom we don't know. Some of these died alone and unnoticed, leaving family behind who will never know their fate.
I place on the altar:
- The final week of October saw four mass shootings that left 48 dead across Mexico, signaling an unabated pace for drug-related violence in the country's four-year drug wars, which has claimed more than 28,000 lives overall. Many of the dead were killed by U.S. manufactured armaments. The U.S. insatiable demand for prohibited drugs fuels the mayhem.
- More than 2,600 people have died in Ciudad Juarez this year alone, and "very close to 7,000" people have been killed since intense daily violence began there in January 2008.
- In Afghanistan
- The second highest recorded total of human bodies were recovered this year on the Arizona -Sonora border. The total recovered is 253 for the fiscal year that began on October 1, 2009 and ended September 30, 2010.
- 1,100 servicemen and women committed suicide in 2005 to 2009 -- one suicide every day and a half. The Army's suicide rate doubled in that time. Special mention: Larry Brown.
- Nearly 45,000 annual deaths are associated with lack of health insurance.
I invite you to add other intended and unintended victims of U.S. aggression in the comment section of this post.
Thank you for remembering, lamenting, mourning, and not allowing these deaths to go unnoticed.