As the couple sat down, Peter took out his reading glasses and began perusing the story associated with the image. And that’s when the enormity of that image revealed itself. In fact, it was not a discarded piece of a pop-art, but the lifeless body of a little Mexican girl attached to the similarly lifeless body of her dad floating in the water of the Rio Grande River that separates the two nations. The story went on to describe how she, along with her parents as well as other desperate refugees, was trying to flee their poor country for a better life in a neighboring rich nation. Now that rich nation began erecting fences at the border to deter such poor migrants. Operative human smugglers in the area, after charging heftily, led a whole group to the alternate river-border where the crossing was narrow. Unfortunately, an overnight sudden thunderstorm had swallowed the river. While some were able to swim across, this dad carrying his daughter on his shoulder drowned. Now their comingled bodies surfaced near the bank. But there was no trace of the girl’s mother.
Following year, in another gorgeous morning Peter picked up his daily newspaper from the driveway of his home in the suburb of Philadelphia. Immediately, his heart started pounding. There was a dark but visible image on the front page. A little boy, wearing a yellow and green soccer uniform with number 10 and the name of Neymar Jr. (belonging to the Brazilian superstar) emblazoned on his back, was standing in front of what seems like a cage. Recently, rumors were spreading that the current xenophobic administration ordered border guards to practice inhumane separation of little children from their parents who were attempting to enter the country fleeing poverty, crimes and violence from their own countries. Now, a brave photographer, in the dark of the night, was able to snap a few shots to document the unfolding events.
Peter, the only son of Holocaust-survivor parents, suddenly remembered a blurred blue prisoner’s identification number (ending with 10). This was permanently etched on his dad’s (now deceased) arm by the Nazis in the Auschwitz death camp. He wondered what could have happened to his parents if they were not allowed to relocate in the US after their liberation at the end of the Second World War.
Peter then looked at the clear blue sky above his head, as if looking for an answer to his own inquiry.