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If you have any time left over from blogdrama (I am proud of being ashamed of shame, etc.)please read the BBC article about the children of Beslan.To get some perspective on how deeply adults wound children:

The militants herded the hostages into the school gym, and there they held them for three days.

Inside the sweltering gym the terrorists refused to give hostages food or water, forcing them to take drastic measures.

"I drank pee. It was tasteless. I also found a piece of pear skin on a floor. It was really good," Chermen told me when we first met. "But mostly I slept."

At one point he was woken by the sound of an explosion inside the gym. Chermen saw how one of the militants had blown himself up with a grenade attached to his body:

"A terrorist grenade was hit by a bullet. He blew up and his brains hit me in the face. It was horrible. It was fatty and slippery," he said.

How many millions of children have similar stories, and how little does it matter whether their experience was brought to them by a group of Islamic terrorists, or an American drone over Afghanistan? Collateral damage runs deeper than casualties.

There are some things one can never get over. The death of a child, whether by illness or accident, often breaks a marriage; guilt and blame rise in the face of the skewing of an expected natural order of things.

I often wonder how people deal with a loved one that has been murdered. To think that their last moments in life were drenched in terror or pain. The injustice that the murderer is the last one to see this person alive.

These stories of some Beslan children, are alternately, sad, inspiring and frightening. The boy who thinks he is god-selected for greatness because of it. Perhaps he will draw strength from that and do good, and strive for a higher purpose.But one can imagine other scenarios for a child traumatized but with such conviction about the meaning of his trauma.If he indeed becomes a figure of power in Russia, will he command others to repeat violence?

Some of the children are able to bring reason to the situation, or envisage a terrible new career:

Atzamas was 10 when, on the last day of the siege, the force of the bomb blast knocked him out. He woke up trapped under a pile of bodies.

He says he has tried to understand things from the attackers' point of view.

"They can't be the only ones to blame. I have studied their lives, their school of Islam and I thought hard about the war in Chechnya.

"If they were attacked by Russian troops, they were fighting to be free. And then they would want revenge on Russia - after all Russia had been killing their children too," he said.

Since the attack each of the children has in their own way tried to overcome its legacy and focus on the future.

"I am going to be a doctor. I will have my own clinic where I will treat future victims of terrorism," Laima told me.

And they refuse to give the new school a number.

Originally posted to callmemisty on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 11:28 AM PDT.

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