'Imagination will take you everywhere'
1956 – 2012
It seems apt for my first blog post to dedicate it to my hero, Marie Colvin, a truely inspirational journalist who pushed physical and mental boundaries to document what mattered most to her. Her bravery was unprecedented, her determination colossal and her kindness ever-present.
Being a war correspondent meant Colvin was constantly located amidst fierce battles in poverty-stricken countries (a job which many of us would never be able to comprehend). The plains of Iraq, Libya, and, of course, Syria were the norm. But documenting the country’s vicious struggles was not enough for Colvin; she shared the front line with the civilians and gave them voices.
Even losing an eye in Sri Lanka when shrapnel pierecd her eye ball, could not and would not deter her from her job. Because her job was not simply her job; it was her passion, her dream, her life. This is what made her undeniably the greatest war correspondent of her generation, however this is what also led to her tragic death.
One anecdote about Colvin sums her bravery up completely; she had been posted to East Timor in 1999 and was in the United Nations compound in Dili, where 1,500 refugees had taken shelter. The Indonesian troops had closed in on the compound and the UN had pulled out, leaving the refugees defenceless and vulnerable. The Sunday Times ordered Colvin and two other journalists to retreat with the rest of the international press. But being Marie Colvin, she refused to abandon the refugees. The three journalists stayed in the compound with the refugees; standing up to the Indonesian soldiers. Finally the Indonesians allowed the refugees to leave, shamed by the journalists’ bravery. It was Colvin’s reporting, heared by many people around the world, which consequently saved the refugees’ lives. Afterwards Colvin was asked what she thought of the UN officials (all male) who had abandoned them. She simply laughed and replied: ‘They don’t make men like they used to.’
No man, warrior, or soldier could ever compare with the strength Marie Colvin displayed during her life. An inspiration to us all.