The El Salvador nuns—in the news, thirty years on

Monday, November 10, 2014

Readers of this blog know that I married a man from a land that was foreign to me. El Salvador. That I traveled there. That I studied it. That I tried to make sense of that world in a memoir that took years to write, Still Love in Strange Places. I read every last news story I could find at the time, every antique coffee brochure, every photograph made available to me (this one, here, I especially love, featuring my husband's grandfather on the far right). I talked to dear Aunt Adela, my brother-in-laws, Mario and Rodi, my mother-in-law, anyone who had the time.

But the story is never over, and this morning I found myself spiraling back toward El Salvador while watching this New York Times retro reportage on the four American nuns who were murdered in December 1980. Their story horrified me when I first heard of it (a few years before I met my husband). I never could make sense of it. But love and memory keep a story alive, and justice finds its way.

For those interested in footage of El Salvador that I never saw and in a story that has many twists and turns, I highly recommend this story by Clyde Haberman and important video.

I am off to Masterman High, in Philadelphia, to talk with students about the Berlin Wall, about the world beyond, about risks and responsibilities. There is, I believe (I stake my small legacy on it), nothing like the real world to inspire meaningful conversations. 


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