Fences. Barbed wire. Plexiglass riot shields. Refugee camps. Unanswered questions. Terror. Roiling seas in flimsy boats. Waiting. Fear. Walking. Huddled in wet, cold fields with no shelter and no certainty about what tomorrow brings. This and so much more is the experience of refugees fleeing the violence and civil war of Syria in Europe.
And now there is a new misery: Investigators into the Paris attacks found a Syrian passport near the bodies of dead bombers and assert that one was a Syrian who entered Greece as a refugee. This piece of information means that all those seeking refuge are now suspect and subject to fear, hatred and another layer of vulnerability. There is already so much misery, and now this. The terrible actions of a few punishing all. The horrific violence that slayed cafe-goers, partiers and fans of rock music is the same violence that these countless men, women and children are fleeing.
Can they still have hope? Can they still find a destination, a future free of violence and political turmoil? Can they keep going? Winter is coming, fast and bitter.