A year ago today, at the peak of the Syrian governments ferocious bombardment of Baba Amr, we lost two brave and committed journalists, Marie Colvin and Remi Ochlik, both murdered by the Syrian regime along with thousands of innocent civilians.
Marie, an old friend and colleague who I met in Syria ten years ago while attempting to enter Iraq illegally, had, for over a quarter of a century, given a voice to the innocent victims of war. I was privileged enough to work with her through the Libyan and Syrian campaigns spending two months in Misrata during the height of the siege there. Together we shared the heartache, humour and tragedy of frontline reporting. Marie’s ethos – to bear witness – was an inspiration to all who knew her and to those who read her passionate reports from the frontlines of some of the worlds most troubled spots.
Marie will be in my heart for as long as I walk this troubled earth. To all her friends, family and admirers of her work, I’m so sorry I never brought her home to you.
Remi was a fellow photographer and in Libya we dodged and ducked through major battles. He was a rising star whose light was snuffed out many years too soon. His passion and desire to capture the brutality of war cost him his life bringing heartache and pain to his family and friends. Remi we will never forget you.
Alongside Edith Bouvier, I was injured in the attack that took our friends, and together with William Daniels and Javier Espinosa, we sat for five days in Baba Amr, unsure of our fate eventually escaping with the help of local activists and FSA rebels.
It would be foolhardy to try and attempt to thank everyone individually who has helped me over the last year and to miss a single name would be mortifying. I will just say a simple thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone who carried me, treated me and showed the beautiful face of human compassion when I needed it most.
Thank you all.
With everlasting gratitude,