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Fly Like Ryan

This is a picture of the back of a t-shirt I have. The t-shirts were created in honor of Ryan Wagner; he was in my high school’s graduating class, but tragically passed away during our senior year. The Auschwitz museum article made me think of the shirt. The article discussed how the museum did not have a human element to it; in order to diminish the perceived power of the Nazi regime, individual stories about persecutors and their victims was removed from the exhibit. Unfortunately, this results in a disconnect with visitors. What the exhibit longs to do is what this shirt does – adds a connectable, human dynamic to it. Ryan’s passing away was a devastating loss, and made our whole class realize how fragile life really was. Our graduating class lost one of our own. However, visitors to the Auschwitz museum do not necessarily feel this loss – they see it as a historical event rather than an unjustified loss of undeserving human beings. This ode on the shirt illustrates the emotional element connected to a loss, which the Auschwitz museum explained it was lacking.





I have experienced a close friend from high school who have passed away few years back; he was only 20 years old. At the time, it was heartfelt for a lot of people in my hometown. He was such a model figure for all of us. After his death, many people have made things, such as car stickers, a varsity letter with his number, and jackets with his nickname, to remind us that he’s always a part of us wherever we go.

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