Earlier today there was a memorial service at Cologne Cathedral for the victims of the Germanwings flight that was evidently purposefully crashed into a mountainside on March 24.
… inside the cathedral, 150 candles flickered on the altar in front of Cardinal Woelki and the leader of the Protestant Church of Westphalia, Annette Kurschus. Each light represented a life lost in the Germanwings crash. The presence of a candle for co-pilot Andreas Lubitz had been widely debated prior to the service… Outside, on the doorstep to Cologne Cathedral, mourners were full of empathy for Lubitz’ family, who had chosen to not attend the ceremony…
During the remembrance service, German President Joachim Gauck also asked the congregation to remember the co-pilot’s family.”On March 24 his relatives lost someone whom they loved and who leaves behind a hole in their lives – in a way that they find just as difficult to make sense of as all the other bereaved.”
The inclusion of the c0-pilot in this very public act of grief (and reconciliation?) strikes me as an interesting — and potentially powerful — choice. A bit more on why, if I can find time for a related post sometime this weekend.
The BBC has a brief video of the Cologne Cathedral memorial service.