Friends I’ll Never Meet

by Mike on April 22, 2011

For Whom The Bell Tolls

I learned of the deaths of two photojournalist this morning in Libya – Tim Hetherington and Chris Hondros. I didn’t meet either when they were alive, but somehow their deaths touched me.

If we consume any news at all, we are bombarded with news of death. It’s a steady stream. The deaths of the famous and those who die spectacularly are reported. The deaths of military men and women are reported all too frequently. These deaths are sad.

Even sadder is that too often the passing of these people is taken like the news of a traffic accident. It invades our consciousness, is noted, but doesn’t get beyond the noise.

The passing of Mr. Hetherington and Mr. Hondros was like that for a minute, but then I did something I usually don’t – I found out a little more about them. Learning about their lives, even a small bit, makes them human. It’s not that I know them, but now at least I know about them. I would have liked to have met them and shared some time, maybe a toast or two. They are friends I will never meet.

John Donne wrote:

“Any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankind; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.”

I thought of these words as I read about the life of Tim and Chris. The bell tolls today for them; and in a way, it tolls for me as well. I am diminished by their deaths for I have lost friends I’ll never meet.

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