Gostivar Bus Tragedy

Last night there was a bus accident and 13 passengers died. The bus was a commuter bus from Skopje to Gostivar.

13 people died and I did not blink an eye.

In the wake of this accident, the town of Demir Kapja canceled their prized event of the year, the Sveti Trifun manifestation. Staff in my office seemed very saddened and concerned for this accident and the lives lost and the government declared there to be two days of mourning.

13 people died and I did not blink an eye.

For a country that is endlessly complex, but often over simplified as a nation deeply segregated and rooted in ethnic and religious tension; I saw today the immediate mournful and empathetic response from one side of that oversimplified divide to the other.

13 people died and I did not blink an eye.

I am an American and I have been desensitized to tragedy and loss of life.  On average, 105 people die in the US every minute, on average 102 people die every day due to car accidents, on average 47 people in the US are killed by guns everyday.

13 people died and it shook a nation.

This is Macedonia, and one bus accident that killed 13 people shook the whole nation. There is a lot to be learned here.

 

Note: On February 13, 2019 a there was bus accident that to date has killed 15 people, with more still in hospitals. This post was written the morning after as I witnessed the impact of this accident on the nation and the staff I work with.

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