Thursday, November 19, 2015

Candlelight Vigil for Valeria Solesin - Venice Victim of Paris Terrorist Attacks


Candlelight Vigil for Valeria Solesin in Piazza San Marco
(Venice, Italy) Thousands of people gathered in Piazza San Marco last evening to honor Valeria Solesin, a young, beautiful, intelligent Venetian woman, one of Venice's -- and the world's -- brightest stars, who was senselessly murdered by Daesh aka ISIL in Paris on Friday night; we gathered to remember all the Paris victims, but especially Valeria, a hometown girl. About five to seven thousand residents of Venice, young and old, made the journey to the center of the city to hold aloft twinkling points of light, illuminating the darkness that has descended on the planet. Many Venetians arrived with their children.

Valeria Solesin
Valeria Solesin represented everything good, empowering and compassionate about Europe. She was a brilliant young woman, who believed passionately in peace, not war. Valeria grew up in Venice, graduating in 2006, then got her degree at Trento University. For the last four years she lived in Paris as a PhD candidate at the prestigious Sorbonne University, studying sociology, with an emphasis on family and children. For years, she was a volunteer for Emergency, an Italian NGO that provides assistance to the civilian victims of war -- the extreme opposite of everything ISIL represents. She was killed at the Bataclan concert hall at age 28.

Remembering Valeria Solesin in Piazza San Marco
All monsters who use terror as a weapon must be held accountable. Because, what is ISIL? Who created it? ISIL is a Frankenstein demon out of control, a twisted conglomeration of failed policies in the Middle East, created by extreme greed, outrageous abuse of power, and astonishing stupidity by schemers in different governments and "intelligence" agencies. By turning directionless young people into militants, and deliberately targeting successful young people at a rock concert, ISIL is a mirror that reflects the dark state the world is in today.

Remembering Valeria Solesin in Piazza San Marco
Luigi Brugnaro, Venice's mayor, made a poignant statement. I do hope that he is sincere, and that the death of Valeria has shaken him as much as it has all of Venice, all of Italy, all of Europe. He said, "Tonight, let our city be the basis and example for a new European policy. A melting pot, a crossroads of different cultures, as it always was -- we have to start from here... from this piazza finally full of Venetians. We would like it if the whole city could, once again, become a bridge to the intersection of cultures. In fact, from this evening, we could start building a new political Europe, with and for young people."

Now, that statement is nothing new. There are many residents of Venice who have been working for years to do exactly that -- make Venice the crossroads of civilization and cultures, as it always was. But one does not accomplish that by banning books about tolerance immediately after taking office, as Brugnaro did, or by canceling art exhibitions, or by declaring there will never be a gay pride parade in town, or by publicly insulting individuals with whom he disagrees. A future working for the cruise ship industry, which Brugnaro supports, or for massive tourism, does not appeal to Venice's finest, brightest youth, causing them to search elsewhere for opportunities.

If one wants to be a shining example for a new Europe -- which Venice does have the capacity to do -- one must start by building a dignified bridge within one's own community, not take actions that divide it.

Remembering Valeria Solesin in Piazzo San Marco
Let us hope that the harsh reality of Valeria Solesin's murder acts as a catalyst for change, and that we can all work together to bring about hopeful a world for our youth. Rest with the angels, Valeria.

Il Gazzettino
Ciao from Venezia,
Cat
Venetian Cat - The Venice Blog


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1 comment:

  1. Thousands of people gathered in Piazza San Marco last evening to honor Valeria Solesin, a young, beautiful, intelligent Venetian woman, one of Venice's -- and the world's -- brightest stars, who was senselessly murdered by Daesh aka ISIL in Paris on Friday night, and to remember all the Paris victims. Five to seven thousand residents of Venice, young and old, made the journey to the center of the city to hold aloft twinkling points of light, illuminating the darkness that has descended on the planet.

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