Tonight a large crowd gathered in Prescott, Arizona to remember a young woman who lost her life while being held captive by the group that calls themselves "The Islamic State."
While at the same time stories were coming out about her captivity, missed opportunities, and the efforts her boyfriend made to get her free.
Kayla Mueller, standing in front of her Syrian boyfriend in an Islamic State prison, denied she was married to him, foiling his plan to claim she was his wife and free her, the boyfriend said in his first published interview since the aid worker was declared dead by her captors earlier this month.
Missed opportunities indeed. One gets a sense of restless, idealistic young people, and one mourns the lost potential of what such energies might have done in the decades to come. A snuffing out of idealism and compassion, it seems to me. But that seems to be exactly the thing that this group traffics in.
I sense some reasonable qualms: she is the young white woman whose death gets the headlines while all the young brown women who are sold into slavery and death under similar circumstances get a footnote, if anything at all, in the western media. I wish to hear their stories, too. But I'm not immune to the tale the local media spins: intrigue, missed opportunities. Ready-made for Hollywood. We do love our carefully-curated button-pushing narratives, don't we?