Remembering Danny Pearl |

Remembering Danny Pearl

When I was 6 years old, I became best friends with a girl named Tammy Pearl. The Pearls were my second family as I moved through childhood; many were the dinners and vacations and times just hanging around that I shared with them.

Religion was important to the Pearls. So over the years, I watched Tammy and her younger brother, Danny, studying their Hebrew, and I occasionally came along to Sabbath and Passover at their house. Sometimes Danny would come to my house to play, and I remember many things about him: how good he was at violin, his fun, sensitive nature, the pet name his mother used for him, and what a bright boy he was.

Mostly I remember what a lively, loving family the Pearls were. Even dinner at their house was an adventure: I remember having a spontaneous concert at the dinner table with everyone hitting glasses and plates. Music, fun, and a focus on their Jewish heritage were an integral part of the Pearl family.

As the years went by, Tammy and I kept in touch. I knew Danny had finally found a woman he loved, and I knew when he got married. But he had been kidnapped for a week before I got an e-mail from Tammy saying it had happened, and asking for everyone’s prayers. When I saw the photo of Danny with a gun barrel pointed at his head, I broke down sobbing.

I grieve for the loss of a man who had integrity and ideals, and for the child who will never know his father. I grieve for the Pearls, and for the horror and sorrow they must feel. I grieve for the blindness we all have, America included, as we proclaim whole countries evil and adopt a separatist approach. I grieve for the hatred and prejudice that caused this act. This world seems to be getting darker, I grieve for what that could mean to our children and to our earth. And I pray that we each strive to conquer the darkness within ourselves and within our world in our own way, that tragedies like this one become less and less frequent.

Goodbye, Danny, and Godspeed.

Jinnae Anderson

Nevada City

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