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... And there are also times when it's okay to cry. When real tragedy strikes, when heroes need to be remembered, or when someone does something a little special to let us know that there is still beauty and kindness in the world, then it belongs here. And there's no shame in that.

Examples



  • The little girl in the documentary The Dark Side of Chocolate with the open wounds in her legs. Also the little trafficked boy crying. It's sad that this goes on and so many don't know about it.
  • Anytime when a person close to you dies, can hurt even more if it was sudden.
  • 07/07/2005 - The London bombings... And then everyone saying that Islam was bad just because of a minority...
  • 9/11/2001.
    • "I look out my windows, and the Twin Towers are gone. Instead, I can now see the Statue of Liberty. And you can't beat that."

  Jon Stewart, The Daily Show, September 20, 2001

    • David Letterman's similar reaction the first night the Late Show With David Letterman after the attacks, with him trying to rationalize the way the terrorists were thinking:
    • Conan O'Brien's post 9/11 monologue. He never cried or even got choked up, but there were several moments when he paused to take a deep breath and it was obvious that he was trying not to lose it. He bluntly stated that he had no idea how they were going to go back to doing shows the way they used and then got very personal and discussed his Catholic upbringing and mentioned that he so desperately needed help to deal with the horror of what had happened that he did something he hadn't done in 8 years--went to church and prayed. He described sitting in St. Patrick's Cathedral and suddenly realizing that although the towers had been knocked down, that this beautiful building was still standing and there was still a lot of beauty in the world. It was during this speech that he first urged his young viewers to shun cynicism. Seven years later, on June 13, 2008, he simply walked onto the stage without any music or intro and informed his audience that he had just learned of the death of his friend Tim Russert. After talking about him for several minutes, he played several clips from Russert's appearances on the show.
    • The Onion, not long after: http://www.theonion.com/content/node/28148.
    • Dave Barry's tributes to 9/11 - one just a week or so later, one on the year anniversary... are absolutely heartbreaking in that they are not funny at all. When a man who's spent his career cracking jokes about boogers and exploding toilets turns mature and serious, you know some shit has happened. And anything that Dave Barry can't crack a joke about...
    • Kevin Cosgrove's phone call.
    • Muhammad Ali gave a brief interview a few days later with a plea for understanding, saying "This is not Islam," and trying to explain his faith. He also spoke on America A Tribute To Heroes alongside Will Smith.
    • The Falling Man is a documentary that should be regarded not in terms of a single tearjerking moment, but how it manages to make the viewer break down so many times in an hour and a half. The first five minutes are a collection of news and radio fragments designed to hearken back to the confused mood that many people felt when they realized that New York had been attacked on September 11th. The descriptions of the final phone calls from people who were in the towers themselves. The description from a widower about how his wife was found on the pavement outside the wreckage because she jumped ("For those few brief moments, it must have felt like flying"), the unused photos from Richard Drew's set on "The Falling Man", how the media attempted to cover up the image so that others wouldn't be depressed by it, or the owner of Windows on the World trying to find the man's identity because he wanted to give some small measure of hope to a family. It's beautiful and tragic at the same time.
    • In the CBS documentary of the same date, one of two French filmmakers (who were covering the life of an NYC firehouse before the attack) is inside WTC 1 with a number of firemen and police officers. During their evacuation of the mezzanine, a constant thumping noise can be heard in the background. The fire fighters realize that the noises are coming from jumpers who are hitting the mezzanine roof and the pavement outside. There's a shot of the platoon fire chief standing with his walkie up against his mouth, wide-eyed and struggling to hold his emotions in when he hears another crashing noise outside. Later on, the two brothers reunite in the firehouse and meet back with everyone who's left. There's complete confusion, and many of the firemen are explaining the casualties and missing friends in disbelief. One of the final images is a firefighter from the firehouse raising the American flag, just like any other night, but now with a very different meaning. Tears.
    • When the two brothers finally saw each other again after several horrifying hours in which neither knew what had happened to the other (they had been separated during the whole thing) and in which each feared that he would die without ever getting to see his brother again. They simply fell into each others arms and bawled like children. It was so moving to see such naked emotion on screen--and very saddening to realize how many completely opposite scenes would play out that day and for many days to come.
    • This video. A large group of New Yorkers, including a great-grandfather and a young woman who both picked up body parts in the aftermath of 9/11, argue about the attacks. Suddenly, this happens.
    • Several years after 9/11, a US Airforce Pilot summed up the events of United Flight 93 with the following words:

  They took care of it.

    • This drawing. 9/11 seen by the eyes of a child: the Two Towers hugging each other while crying...
  • La Dictadura or el proceso(Spanish for "The Dictatorship" and "The Process", as in "National Reorganization Process"). Those words are synonym of the cruelest period of it history. It was the last military dictatorship to take over the country between the years of 1976 and 1983, and by far the bloodiest. Not only by the fact that 30.000 people disappeared to not be found ever, but for the intervention of political activite, the smashing of political activities, and the infamous Falkland's War where other 600 young soldiers died. The result of the general repression was huge impact in Argentinian culture.
    • It is also very notable for the case of babies being appropriated by military officers and their families after being taken away from jailed (and later disappeared) women. This lead to the foundation of Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo (Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo), an organization of elder women searching for their lost grandchildren who may not even know who they are.
    • This, as well as other 100, is the story of Juan Cabandié. A boy who had to confront the idea that the man who raised him was not only not his father but possibly the killer of his biological parents. He grew up to be a legislator. Your political opinion of him may differ, but still a brave life story.
    • La Noche de los Lápices (The Night of the Pencils). One September 16th of 1976 a group of students of La Plata marched for better education. And they never return. they made a movie out of it
    • This song by Charly García. It is in Spanish, but the lyrics go like these:

 Neighborhood friends may disappear,

radio singers may disappear.

Those in the newspapers may disappear,

the person you love may disappear.

  • About recognizing the 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai. Particularly tearjerking because people were killed at multiple locations all over the city- including places, like the city's biggest railway station. Among the places that went under attack were the aforesaid station, a hospital, the local Chabad outreach centre, a cafe and two hotels- one of which is one of the most iconic buildings in India. It was made worse by the fact that the siege in the hotels and the outreach centre went on for three days. And made worse still by bungling politicians and an irresponsible media, who relayed possible locations of hostages on live TV- making it easier for the terrorists' handlers to figure out where they were and tell the gunmen to go after them.
    • Especially tearjerking: the general manager of the Taj hotel, Karambir Kang, lost his wife and two children in the attacks. He kept on working to save his guests' lives anyway, even after they were confirmed dead. Also, the staff of both hotels, considering the fact that they were civilians and not trained to handle this sort of thing, were nothing short of heroic- they did everything possible to save their guests, at tremendous risk to their own lives. Several of them did in fact die in the attacks.
  • Any air crash is tragic, especially those that claimed the lives of groups of athletes or musicians loved by fans. Examples include:
    • The 1958 "Munich Air Disaster" which killed eight Manchester United members.
    • The 1960 New York crash, where two airline planes collided in mid-air, killing 134 people.
    • The (other) Munich Air Disaster of 1960, where a USAF passenger plane rammed the top of St. Paul's main tower and then crashed into the morning commute in the city centre (where a fully crowded tram happened to pass through), killing 52.
    • The 1961 crash that killed the entire United States figure skating team, as well as most of their coaches, including coaching legend Maribel Vinson Owen and her two daughters.
    • The "Day the Music Died," where Buddy Holly, Richie Valens, and The Big Bopper died.
    • The 1967 crash that killed Otis Redding and most of his backing band, The Bar-Kays.
    • The 1970 crash that killed the Marshall University football team.
    • The 1977 crash that killed Lynyrd Skynyrd singer Ronnie Van Zandt, guitarist Steve Gaines, and sister Cassie.
    • October 2006, with baseball's playoffs still not over, "Cory Lidle dead" running across the bottom of the screen on ESPN. "Wasn't he just pitching for the Yankees in the playoffs last week? How is he dead?" Plane crash. He'd been taking flying lessons, and was on his way home for the winter after another first-round exit for the Yankees when either he or his instructor ended up crashing the private plane into a building, the result of too much wind blowing the small craft off-course. All of the occupants of the building survived their injuries. Lidle and his instructor were the only two deaths. Always sad when an athlete gets struck down in the middle of their playing career...no matter whose uniform they may wear.
    • The 1977 Tenerife airport disaster. A Boeing 747, Rijn, belonging to KLM; its captain mistakenly believing he has permission to take off, crashes sidelong into Pan Am's 747 Clipper Victor, with 644 aboard both aircraft. All aboard Rijn are killed, and only 61 survive aboard Clipper Victor. At the controls of Rijn is Jacob Veldheuzen van Zanten, KLM's most senior pilot. When word of the disaster reached the airline, an executive attempted to dispatch van Zanten to lead the investigation. The aftermath of this disaster caused sweeping changes in airport operational rules.
    • On 25 May, 1979, at approximately 1504hrs Central Daylight Time, American Airlines McDonnell-Douglas DC-10 N110AA, flight number 191. lifts off from Chicago's O'Hare International Airport. Due to improperly-performed maintenance procedures, one of the engines detaches, tearing off a significant chunk of the leading edge of the port-side wing as well. The pilots, unaware of the full extent of the problem, throttle back to go around and land. This reduced airflow over the wing, leading to an asymmetric loss of lift, and torn hydraulic and control lines. The aircraft entered a steep bank and slammed into a hangar at the disused Ravenswood general aviation airport, less than a mile from the end of the runway and adjacent to a mobile home park. All two hundred and seventy one passengers and crew, as well as two people on the ground were killed, and five others were injured. It remains the deadliest single-aircraft accident ever in the United States. When they later had other pilots attempt the scenario in the simulator, those who were informed of the lost engine and damaged wing (the original pilots were not informed, and that portion of the aircraft is not visible from the cockpit) were able to recover the aircraft. Had the maintenance been performed correctly, the problem would have never happened.
    • The 1983 Air Canada accident that killed the great Canadian folksinger, Stan Rogers. He died helping others off the plane before it caught fire and killed those who were left.
    • The day a beautiful aircraft died. And 113 human beings.
    • The 2011 crash in Russia that killed the entire Kontinental Hockey League team Lokomotiv Yaroslavl as well as the coaching staff and members of the youth team all but one of the crew.
  • Then there are air, sea and rail disasters where children and babies get killed, and sometimes it's almost worse when some members of a family survive and have to face an empty home- like the poor guy whose whole family were killed in TWA 800. Watching a program where he showed their passports (recovered from the ocean) was heartbreaking.
    • Montoursville Area High School lost 16 students and 5 chaperones in that accident. In a town of only 4,000 people, the loss was staggering. Everyone knew, or was related to, a victim.
  • The 1985 Mexico City Earthquake had its episode: Opera singer Plácido Domingo lost his uncles and nephews in the Nuevo León Building. * After the Tlatelolco Massacre, mothers were worried about their sons. Only (and so far) 40 people have been identified. Many women had to come up with excuses to take their children's bodies away ("he didn't die of a gunshot, he had a stroke"). The worst tale came from a YouTube comment: "my grandma keeps the housedoor open hoping my uncle will someday return.".
  • Walter Cronkite covered the New London school explosion in 1937 as a journeyman reporter. He said, "I did nothing in my studies nor in my life to prepare me for a story of the magnitude of that New London tragedy, nor has any story since that awful day equaled it."
  • At least for the wars and disasters there had been memorials. The 4th of June Tiananmen Square Protest in 1989 where a group of peaceful student protestors were cruelly dispersed by tanks. But what's really sad is that there has been no apology and a mass cover-up by the Chinese government since then.
  • The speech André Malraux made to honor the memory of French Resistance leader Jean Moulin when his ashes were moved to the Panthéon in 1964, twenty years after his death at the hands of the Gestapo. All the men and women present during the speech cried, and today, any French person with a decent grasp of history who watches the speech can't help but tear up towards the end.
  • Lou Gehrig's farewell speech. "Fans, for the past two weeks you've been reading about the bad break I got. But today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth." If you thought the recreation of it in Pride of the Yankees was moving, just try to make it through the real thing.
  • Big Bird singing "It's Not Easy Being Green" at Jim Henson's funeral.
  • Fred Rogers accepting his Lifetime Achievement Emmy Award and his goodbye speech when he retired.
    • This. The Senator started to cry.
  • Seeing this tributes done for the comic book artist (and the co-creator of the superhero Impulse) Mike Wieringo by fellow artists after his unexpected death of a heart attack.
    • Coincidentally, the character of Bart Allen himself had been killed in the comics barely months earlier which makes the image of Bart running on and telling Mike to keep up because "Walt couldn't wait to meet him!" all the more painful
  • Edvin Biukovic was a Croatian comics artist who got his big break when, along with his friend Darko Macan, he was published in the American anthology series Grendel Tales, while the civil war was still going on there. He won the prestigious Russ Manning Best Newcomer Award in 1995, and was tasked to some of Dark Horse's licensed titles. (He also had some of the best linework ever seen in comics.) Cut to a few years later, he'd gotten a brain tumor and died two weeks later, at the age of 30. There's no justice in this world.
  • Michael Turner's career was cut tragically short. He endured several bouts of chemotherapy to try to cure the cancer that plagued him for almost 10 years. Late in June, 2008, he died due to complications from cancer. Several people in the industry remember him fondly, not the least of which is Jeph Loeb, whose cancer-stricken son Sam was comforted and befriended by Turner. He also helped to carry Sam's casket at his funeral, even though his illness impacted him physically; one of his hip bones was so compromised that it floated free from the socket. This kind of heart, besides his beautiful drawings, is what he is remembered for.
  • The Olympic Games are always good for some tear-inducing moments.
    • The 1972 Munich Massacre. ABC sportcaster Jim McKay's harrowing and iconic announcement to the tragedy sums it up very well:

  When I was a kid my father used to say "Our greatest hopes and our worst fears are seldom realized." Our worst fears have been realized tonight. They have now said there were 11 hostages; two were killed in their rooms yesterday morning, nine were killed at the airport tonight. They're all gone.

    • What makes the Munich tragedy so much worse is that the organizers had gone out of their way to make this the antithesis of the "Nazi" Games in '36. These were the Sugar Wiki Games, "The Games of Peace And Joy". The opening ceremonies were breathtaking, graceful, almost fairytale in color and feel. Lighthearted pop tunes instead of martial airs were played for the Parade of Athletes, and the Germans wore bright pastels. For the first time, the Olympic Flag was brought in by the athletes themselves instead of soldiers. Thousands of garlanded children -- Blumenkinder -- danced as a children's choir sang Karl Orff's setting of the medieval tune "Sumer Is Icumen In", and the Flame was brought in by a group of runners representing the continents and islands of the world. And at the closing ceremonies, in spite of everything, they still raised artist Otto Piene's installation, the Flying Rainbow...
    • During the 2004 Olympic Games opening parade, when the country of Iraq was announced. The cheers that went up across the stadium easily trebled any that had come for the previous countries.
    • Ditto for the 2008 Olympics, when they started singing "We're One World."Retroactively saddening that the athletes from Russia and Georgia walked in the opening ceremony side-by-side, and yet the next day their countries went to war.
    • How about Yao Ming carring China's flag in one arm -- and with the other hand, holding the hand of nine-year-old Lin Hao, a child who'd saved the lives of two friends when the three of them were trapped in the Sichuan Earthquake just a month before.
    • 1992 Barcelona - Behold Derek Redmond limping across the finish line with the help of his father.
    • In the happy tears category, Donghua and Esperanza Li.
    • And in 2000, when North and South Korea walked in together under their "unification" flag, clasped hands held high.
    • Joannie Rochette winning the bronze just days after her mother died. Even the announcers were crying.
      • Especially seeing her expression when the thunderous applause starts at the end of her performance, when you realize that, from her point of view, it's a great big "you did wonderful, we are so sorry for what happened to you, and we love you" from the whole of the country.
    • During the 2002 Winter Olympics, the German athletes asked a local man to carry their country's placard into the stadium. His name was Gail Halvorsen, the man who began dropping chocolate to children during the Berlin Airlift.
    • Bela Karoyli carrying Kerri Strug to the podium to accept her gold medal in the 1996 Atlanta games
    • In the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City, in the marathon, Tanzanian John Stephen Akhwari got injured and finished last. He in fact ran from Reforma Avenue until the Estadio Olímpico Universitario (i.e. a fuckload of distance), crossed the finish line and collapsed. The next day, in the hospital he had this to say: "I don't think you understand. My country did not sent me 5000 miles to start the race, they sent me 5000 miles to finish it".
      • Another one: In the gymnastics field,Vera Caslavska won 4 gold medals and 2 silvers for Checkoslovakia and turned her head as the Soviet anthem played because of the Prague Spring. That same year she got married in Mexico's Metropolitan Cathedral and received the nickname of "La Novia de México" (Mexico's girlfriedd/bride).
  • Everyone in EMS dreads a dispatch that starts: "Units please respond child sick..."
  • Terry Pratchett's early-onset Alzheimer's. The fact that he's got such a brilliant and sharp-witted mind makes it so much worse somehow.

 I would just like to draw attention to everyone reading the above that this should be interpreted as 'I am not dead'. I will, of course, be dead at some future point, as will everybody else. For me, this maybe further off than you think - it's too soon to tell. I know it's a very human thing to say "Is there anything I can do", but in this case I would only entertain offers from very high-end experts in brain chemistry.

  • The singing of "God Save the Queen" and accompanying flag-raising at the Beijing Olympics.
  • In New York, during Fleet Week a few years ago, several replica ships in New York Harbor were hosting exhibits of the Slave Trade.
  • Randy Pausch's Last Lecture.
    • And his appearance in the new Star Trek film as a member of the Kelvin's crew. JJ Abrams personally invited him, and he was inducted into the Screen Actors Guild just so that he could have a speaking role.
  • The Postsecret project, where people send in their secrets on anonymous postcards. Some of them are funny, some weird. But there are some that.....require nothing less than a strong, stiff drink to even get through. And sometimes, that doesn't help.
    • One postcard had an ultrasound of a fetus. Beneath it were the words I know she's not mine... and then on the back of the postcard you see ...but I love her ANYWAY.
    • Two more about 9/11 read, "Every time I cut a middle-easterner's hair, I feel like I'm betraying my country," and "I've been to a LOT of therapists since my dad died in 9-11. I'm finally able to say "I forgive you," out loud. But inside, I'm still screaming "FUCK YOU!!!" Thanks, terrorists. Hatred begets hatred, and it lingers through the years...
    • This TED video, with the founder of Postsecret, Frank Warren. Towards the end with the recording... TEARS, MAN. TEARS EVERYWHERE.
  • HOLY SH--! Poverty.com has a running tally of who just died from hunger, AIDS, pneumonia, diarrhea, tuberculosis, malaria, or measles, complete with a picture and location flashing onscreen.
    • In some ways it makes it worse. These people don't even have names because we don't know who they are. They're dying, and we don't even know them. They were never heard. All that's left of them is a few composite faces.
    • When it all comes down to it, people like Mr. Thompson are far more interested in pushing their own agenda (and especially in Jack Thompson's case, getting their faces in the media) than they are in establishing any sort of meaningful dialogue. That attitude alone is the cause of at least half the examples on this page.
  • The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire in New York. 146 young immigrant men and women died in the span of 30 minutes. Many of them commited suicide by leaping off the ninth and tenth floors of the building. Particularly painful was reading about a man who lifted four women (the last of whom was his girlfriend) out of a window one at a time and dropped them to their deaths before jumping himself. It was preferable to the slower death in the fire which would render the bodies unidentifiable.
    • The eyewitness essay from William Shepherd brings it home - [1] Something to make this story even worse? Nothing was learned from it, May 1993 an even more severe factory fire took the lives of some 188 and injured 469 more, some of those victims were as young as fourteen. They were making children's toys. This incident didn't make the news, they were Disney toys.
  • There was an even worse fire in New York seven years before the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire, when the ferry 'General Slocum' caught fire on the East River. Safety on the ferry was absolutely abysmal: the fire hoses were so old that they burst, the cork in the lifejackets had turned to dust, and the lifeboats were actually stuck to the deck by paint. There were about 1300 people on board: around 300 survived. Even worse is that most of the victims were women and children: the ferry was taking them on a church outing.
  • Ayrton Senna, just Ayrton Senna. On the same weekend too; Roland Ratzenberger. Senna was an automobile racer who died the same day he helped lead a group of racers to discuss safety measures in racing tournaments, a response to his friend (Brazil's Reubens Bariccello) being injured and Austria's Ratzenberger dying in racing accidents during the two days before Senna's own death.
    • Ratzenberger. Max Mosley made a point of attending his funeral over Senna's (it wasn't practical to attend both due to distance/time considerations), precisely because "everyone went to Senna's, and it was important that somebody went to Ratzenberger's."
    • When Senna died, an Austrian flag was found in his uniform. Senna apparently intended to wave the flag as he crossed the finish line in memory of Ratzenberger.
  • Susan Boyle appeared on Britain's Got Talent 2009 to jeering from the audience. She then proceeded to sing "I Dreamed A Dream" from Les Misérables so beautifully that the entire theatre gave her a standing ovation. It's made even more poignant when you take into consideration how her life has unfolded up to this point. It can be seen here.
    • For your consideration, Jamie Pugh. Severe stage fright, and he looks absolutely terrified when he walks on. Sung "Bring Him Home", again from Les Mis, and does it wonderfully. But that's not all. He gets affirmation from Simon Cowell, he's crying on stage, and the audience have their hearts warmed by it.
  • Any Philadelphia Phillies fan cannot honestly say they felt nothing when they heard that Harry Kalas had passed on.
  • The final editorial of Lasantha Wickrematunge, written before and published after his murder (possibly, as he believed, at the hands of his government). Read it and weep.
  • Seven words: "Don't give up. Don't ever give up.".
    • ESPN does Jimmy V Week every year where they raise money and take donations for cancer research for the Jimmy V Foundation. They play that speech on the final night of every week.
    • Jimmy V's speech was one of the most heartwrenching speeches ever delivered, and to think he was as weak as he was when he delivered it... wow. One of his daughters also recently died of cancer.
  • The Aberfan disaster. 144 people dead in a landslide in 1966, including a hundred and sixteen children when their school was engulfed.
    • They were singing 'All things bright and beautiful' in the school, just before the slurry from the mine hit. The entire thing is made worse by the fact that the local council had raised concerns about the dumping of the soil on the ground above the school to the National Coal Board THREE YEARS before the disaster. A fact that the people of Merthyr Tydfil will NEVER forgive the English for.
  • China's Unnatural Disaster - "They told us to move the kids into a new building and the old school would be used for storage. The new building collapsed while the old one survived! We just want the Party to acknowledge us [parents, mourning our only children]!"
    • What makes it even more sickening is that even if they have the safety of their children in mind, parents can be arrested and jailed for protesting the way the government does things. Something in a food item that makes your kid sick? You try and raise awareness about it? Off to jail for you!
  • Hearing Maria Shriver talk about Alzheimer's. The pain in her voice when she described her father not recognizing his loved ones was heartbreaking.
  • double suicide of Neil and Kazumi Puttick. After their five-year old disabled son Samuel died of diabetes, they threw themselves off Beachy Head with their son's body and his favourite toys in a backpack.
  • Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett, Michael Jackson, and Billy Mays. What do they have in common? They all died in the same week.
  • This video. A twelve-year old boy is infected with HIV, has a 1 in 3 chance of survival and because of where he lives, he can't even be told. His name had to be changed to protect his identity, because of the sort of persecution people with HIV in Swaziland undergo. Listen closely to Thabo introducing himself and you can hear where his name is censored.
    • The fact that people there can't say they have HIV due to persecution is both sad and maddening.
  • Cancer.
    • A CNN Documentary on cancer once interviewed several people who had either survived the disease or lost someone close because of it. At the end of the documentary, they asked all of them the same question: "If you made a movie about cancer, how would you end it?". Many talked of an ending of people triumphing over adversity, but the one that hits hardest was the simple, selfless response of an old widow who had lost her husband to cancer:

  Widow: It would end with a man in a lab. And he would say "Eureka"

    • Cancer has robbed the world of so many amazing people (see the rest of this page for evidence). Cancer is a cruel trick played on our bodies to where cells mutate and grow and trick normal cells into allowing the mutated cells into growing and eventually taking over an organ or even a whole body if the cancer has metastasized. So many hundreds of millions of dollars has gone into cancer research and a whole lot more people are surviving after cancer than there were even 15 years ago. Even in the 1960s cancer was considered a death sentence. But the fact that a cure has still not been found and it's proving to be incredibly difficult to find a cure....
  • In the city of Pripyat, Ukraine, is a plaque commissioned by the loved-ones of the dead first-responders, to the explosion at Chernobyl. What does it read? "To those who saved the world." Think about what that means, for a second.
  • The Chernobyl disaster gave us one of the saddest stories in human history.
  • Speaking of Chernobyl, read through http://www.kiddofspeed.com/chapter1.html. Elena rides her motorcycle through what remains of Chernobyl and the surrounding villages, taking photographs along the way. Including of the schools.
  • The whole horrible Lockerbie bombing is devastating to read, but coming to a line in the other wiki that "The people of the town washed, dried, and ironed every piece of clothing that was found, once the police had determined they were of no forensic value, so that as many items as possible could be returned to the relatives."
  • It's only been up a few hours at the time of edit, but this fandom secret is already causing a lot of tear jerking.
  • December 7th, 1980; sports commentator Howard Cosell is commentating on a football game between the Miami Dolphins and the New England Patriots on Monday Night Football, when suddenly the mood of the commentary changes: "Yes, we have to say it. Remember this is just a football game, no matter who wins or loses. An unspeakable tragedy confirmed to us by ABC News in New York City: John Lennon, outside of his apartment building on the West Side of New York City, the most famous, perhaps, of all of The Beatles, shot twice in the back, rushed to Roosevelt Hospital, dead on arrival."
    • Furthermore, the rest of The Beatles' reactions, most notably Paul, who said that it was "a drag". You can just tell that he was a little bit dead inside when he'd said that.
  • Link TV showed a documentary on a refugee from Iran return to revisit his family, called "Relocating Mountains".
  • Ted Kennedy's death
    • The weekend of his funeral, driving into Boston with my family for the , the LED signs on the highway flashing "Thanks, Ted -- from the people of Massachusetts" just seemed so right. Whatever you think of his politics and of the Kennedy dynasty, you have to respect that he served in the Senate for nearly fifty years and managed, in today's political climate, to be both staunchly liberal and famously bipartisan. That ain't easy.
    • After Kennedy died, several Democrats grouped together to "win one for Teddy" and push for the health care reform he had been trying to get for years. Seven months later, just before Obama signed a major reform package into law, Ted's son Patrick left a small note on his grave saying "Dad - the unfinished business is done."
    • Or Obama's first press conference given after the bill had narrowly passed. Asked why he put up with it all, why he was so dead-set on achieving a goal that had eluded Presidents from both parties for sixty years. His response was simple, and telling. "I promised Teddy."
    • And Senator Byrd, 93, in the vote on the health care reform bill, being called to vote, saying "Mr. President, this is for my friend Ted Kennedy! Aye.".
  • Real Life: During the Titanic exhibition, the ship's whistle was recovered from the wreck and has only been used twice, with compressed air instead of steam because of its fragility. This comment from the Youtube video sums it up: "Although the sound is beautiful, it's also strangely haunting... It sounds almost like a ghostly echo emanating out of a grave in a misty, long forgotten cemetery... As stated below, creepy".
  • Any sports star who dies young always profoundly affects their fans and teammates who have followed them.
    • Alex Zanardi would be one of happy tears though, losing both legs was not enough to stop him racing, 20 months after his near fatal crash he returned to Champ cars and finished the last 13 laps of the race he lost his legs in. He now races in Touring Cars.
    • Another example is the Football player David Rocastle. Touted as one of the biggest and most talented prospects in English Football his career took a nosedive when his boyhood club Arsenal sold him and it never fully recovered. Then he died of cancer suddenly aged 33, a cruel fate for a man who had so much going for him, Arsenal fans chose to name a day after him and Arsenal fittingly dedicated a youth team facility to him. This Arsenal fan always feels tears of pride whenever his name is chanted at their stadium, which happens at least once every home game.
  • Many people wonder how conjoined twins must feel about constantly living with their double, but most say that they are happy together. Take for example Ronnie and Donnie Galyon, born in Dayton, Ohio on October 28, 1951, believed to be the longest living male conjoined twins. They each have a distinct personality, and each of them has different tastes in television programs, foods and the like : They each have their own TV, order different meals at restaurants (having each their own stomach), and are served as two different people. They have fights and arguments with each other, even punching one another when it really gets heated... But they still love each other like any sibling would, and after a fight, they'll share a hug once they say they are sorry, leaning into each others' arms. But now, consider this: In the case of conjoined twins who share organs, when one of the twins dies of natural causes, the other usually doesn't die right away along with them. Often, they will still be alive, attached to their sibling. What's even worse is the fact that they will not survive on their own for long, so they know the end is coming. But there is nobody there to console them, while they are slowly dying, all alone...
  • Sadly, Colombian soldier Pablo Emilio Moncayo continues held by FARC after almost twelve years, as well as 700 Colombians in their own country. [2], are now free, as well as people like Ingrid Betancourt and Alan Jara [3] are now free and with their families.
    • Finally Jhon Frank Pinchao, kidnapped by the FARC for seven years, escaped and met his son.
  • What her fans know of Emilie Autumn's life is truly heart breaking. The fact that she's come out of it as a strong, warm, witty and successful person is a combination CMOA and CMOH.
  • Tyler Clementi. So, apparently being gay justifies your roommate filming you having sex and sharing it? Tyler's roommate thought so, and on September 22, 2010, Tyler jumped off the George Washington Bridge.
  • As Alexander Graham Bell lay on his deathbed, his deaf wife signed to him, "Please don't leave me." He signed back, "No..." He died soon after.
  • At the funeral for the woman who died in the Seattle Jewish Federation Shooting in 2006, the Jews and the Muslims sat together. The woman had been shot by a Muslim man.
  • One of the worst aspects of racism in the American South: after both World Wars, many black veterans who had fought for their country in Europe or the Pacific were treated just like any other black man. Some of them were beaten up. Some were even lynched.
    • The Grace of Silence by Michele Norris is about what her father went through on this subject. He had been shot by police officers not long after returning from Navy service in WWII. He never revealed this to his children, believing they were better off not knowing.
  • Genie, the feral child of California. Her story begins as straight-up Nightmare Fuel (a prisoner in her own house, harnessed to a potty chair in a mostly empty room, until the age of 13). She was cared for and studied for years, but watching all the ways in which her researchers and handlers failed her afterward is unimaginably sad. See the NOVA documentary here.
  • The sad story of Natascha Kampusch, an Austrian girl who was kidnapped by a pedophile named Wolfgang Priklopil at the age of 10. Wolfgang kept Natascha locked in a tiny little cellar with no windows until she was 18.
    • Additionally, Wolfgang reportedly commited suicide after Natascha escaped. Natascha, who suffers from Stockholm Syndrome, has said "I feel more and more sorry for him. He's a poor soul. [When I found out he was dead] I cried inconsolably."
  • The New York Times recently published an article analyzing the new trend of YouTube videos of parents (usually fathers) surprising their young children returning home from the war.
    • There is a similar collection of videos on YouTube that has soldier being greeted by their dogs. The sheer joy and exuberance evident in every fiber of the animal's body is just so touching.
  • The bombing of Omagh killed 29 people, including nine children and a woman pregnant with twins. This website...is heartbreaking.[4]
  • Patrick Stewart's speech to Amnesty International about the violent household he grew up in. TRIGGERING for violence against women.
  • The Beslan School Siege in 2004. The idea that terrorists would target a school in such a way is terrifying, and quite sad for those lost, since the age group started at about 4. The fact that the western media seems to have forgotten all about it after about 2 years is probably the worst thing at this time, however.
    • It was even more devestating when one of the very young children was being interviewed afterward, and told of how he was praying for Harry Potter to come and save them.
  • The Russian Submarine Kursk. The Russian government will have you believe that the crew all died in the blast. Think of those that weren't killed by the blast sitting in the cold and dark knowing no-one was coming for them.
  • Sharon Tate and Paul Richard Polanski, Steven Parent, Wojciech Frykowski, Jay Sebring, Abigail Folger, Leno and Rosemary La Bianca's murders at the hands of the Manson Family.
  • Phoebe Prince, a teenage Irish immigrant who committed suicide after being relentlessly bullied by six teens who even bragged about her death afterwards. Imagine how her little sister must have felt when she found her beloved older sister hanging from a stairwell with the scarf she gave her for Christmas. Truly kids are so very, very cruel.
  • Kristina Calco. She seems to have been such a nice person, and smart, and gorgeous. But she couldn't see any of that and felt ugly inside and out because some stupid kids tore her down all the time. It makes you think about how much people's self-esteem is affected by others.
  • The suicide of Mitchell Henderson, what was subsequently done to his family, and the "an hero" obscenities. Mitchell, a human being, is still the subject of online ridicule. He is still being bullied years after his death.
  • The mine explosion in Montcoal, West Virginia in April of 2010. 25 men were identified as killed, and for four days hope held out for the missing 4, but they too, were identified. The tearjerker for me is how this was all completely preventable and there was so much that could have been done to make it so an accident like that would not have happened.
  • The Sago Mine Disaster about 4 years ago, where the local paper reported, initially, one miner was dead and the other 13 were safe. It was a mistake, and 13 were dead, with one alive.
  • A Million Is a Statistic... Just that fact that this trope exists.
  • Apple fanboy Stephen Fry's article on the iPad ends by saying that the only thing he regrets is that fellow Apple fanboy Douglas Adams isn't alive to see "the closest thing to The Guide man has yet produced".
  • The entire city of Seattle, Washington banding together to help "Electron Boy" save the day... as part of a Make-a-Wish Foundation wish.
  • On March 25, 1911, the worst workplace disaster in NYC aside from 9/11 took place. A shirtwaist factory went up in smoke, killing over a hundred teenaged girls. Many jumped to their deaths, others burned. The doors that lead to freedom were locked. The fire escape was faulty, the firemen's ladders did not reach - and the water hoses did not work. Only a year before, those same girls were on a picket line, demanding safer conditions. They stood up for rights no one thought they deserved. They did not go down without a fight, but the union stopped the strike after all the factories but one agreed - the 'fireproof' triangle shirtwaist factory. The owners got a fine. 146 lives lost, hundreds more injured... and all they got was a fine.
  • The live coverage of the BP oil leak.
  • The simple, tender sincerity in a love letter that physicist Richard Feynman wrote to his wife, Arline, two years after she died.
  • On June 4, 2010, Richard Butler planned to propose to his girlfriend, Bethany Lott, at the top of a hill. Near the top, she said to him, "God, baby, look how beautiful it is." 30 seconds later, she was suddenly struck by lightning and killed. He put the engagement ring on her finger while the EM Ts tried, and failed, to revive her.
  • Read this. The level of suffering this poor girl was put through can only be described as inhuman. And worst of all? "Possibly a hundred different people" knew about it and did nothing to stop it.
  • The BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The ruining of wetlands along the Gulf coasts and the pictures of oil-coated birds and turtles. And those are just the direct effects. The ecology of the area will be damaged for decades to come. And the worst part about it is that it was all preventable, but human greed and stupidity trumped all else.
    • The worst part is a Wiki Leaks memo revealed that this happened before-in the Caspian sea, and they learned nothing. Or worse, chose not to apply what they learned for the sake of profit.
  • Beethoven's Ninth Symphony is one of the greatest pieces of music ever written. At the premiere, Beethoven insisted on conducting the orchestra himself, even though by that time he was deaf. The regular conductor had seen Beethoven's previous attempts at leading an orchestra (which were disastrous), so he instructed the musicians to ignore Beethoven's wild gesturing, and follow the regular conductor's lead instead. While the orchestra played, Beethoven concentrated on the written score in front of him, hearing the music in his head. As it turns out, the musicians were playing at a slightly different tempo ... so that when the music ended, and the audience rose to applaud, Beethoven hadn't reached the end of his music yet. The man was getting a standing ovation that he couldn't hear, and with his back to the audience he couldn't see it either. If his music sounds so awesome to us, what did it sound like inside the composer's own mind?
    • Terry Pratchett made the comment that "Deafness doesn't prevent composers from hearing the music. It prevents the distractions."
  • The Winnenden Massacre. Any school shooting is tragic, and they happen so often. An article in a large weekly t starts out like this (translated for your reading pleasure):

 At 9:15am it was still a normal Wednesday in Winnenden, and the small town – 20 kilometres to the northeast of Stuttgart – was just a small town in the Swabian province. Clouds hung over the castle and the timber framed houses, half melted snow lay in the shadows of the old city wall.

A young man with glasses, in dark clothing, with short hair and a pale face marched towards the Albertville Realschule.

At 9:45am, nothing in Winnenden still was as it had been just a moment before.

  • Hearing your grandmother wish out loud that she was dead, after three strokes, will do it to you.
  • Pale Blue Dot, and the Voyager missions on a whole. Sending a tiny probe to the outermost reaches of the solar system, 6 billion kilometres away, and having it turn its cameras back to its home one last time before leaving to journey across the interstellar void for eons. The resulting image, and the speech and book that Carl Sagan wrote for it, sums up the Crapsack World:

  "Consider again that dot. That's here, that's home, that's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there – on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam. "

  • Ma Li and Zhai Xiaowe's ballet performance Hand in Hand, the dancers were missing their arm and leg respectively.
  • Arson. A bit worse than accidental fires because these fires were set intentionally.
    • There was a string of church arson cases in Texas around February of 2010.
  • This heart-rending look into a mother whose daughter has tuberous sclerosis. It never fails to amaze how strong some people are and that the crap that goes on in regular people's life is so trivial compared to some of the stuff that other people go through everyday without even showing it. Just...read it.
  • Brian Wood, a game designer, sacrificed himself to keep his wife and unborn baby alive. Coincidentally, he worked on Company of Heroes, and few will say that "hero" doesn't describe Brian perfectly. The very best of wishes to your family, Mr. Wood. We mean that with the greatest sincerity.
  • An American missionary couple, Martin and Gracia Burnham, were held hostage by the Abu Sayyaf guerrilla group in the Philippines for more than a year, while their three children were in the United States. Martin kept Gracia going through unimaginably difficult circumstances, and managed to befriend and earn the respect of many of their captors. On June 7, 2002, the Philippine military attacked Abu Sayyaf in an attempt to free the hostages (which included Filipinos)--Martin was shot and killed by the very people trying to rescue him. Gracia was wounded, but survived. For a brave husband and father to make it through a year of captivity, then die on the very day of rescue, is heartbreaking.
  • The 2006 documentary The Bridge, about people who commit suicide by jumping off San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge. The bridge is apparently the world's most popular suicide spot, and people travel there for the sole purpose of ending their lives. Numerous attempts have been made to have some sort of suicide barrier put in place, but these efforts have been resisted in some cases simply because a net or railing would detract from the aesthetic appeal of the bridge.
    • As an additional punch in the gut, here is an excerpt from the suicide note of one jumper: "I’m going to walk to the bridge. If one person smiles at me on the way, I will not jump." [5]
    • The Prince Edward Viaduct in Toronto, Canada is the second-deadliest suicide bridge in the world, after the Golden Gate. A suicide barrier, the Luminous Veil, was installed about a decade ago. While there are virtually no suicides from the viaduct now, the overall rate of suicide in Toronto has not changed. Apparently, people will find another place to die.
  • The Manila hostage crisis towards the people in Hong Kong. Especially when three members of a family of five were murdered, leaving only the mother and the son (who was critically injured but he got better recently). Among the victims, one of them was just only fourteen years old and was also the youngest daughter from the family above. She died because she protected her brother from being shot. *sob*
  • Listening to Aron Ralston describe his experience of amputating his own arm to escape a boulder is very, erm, moving.

  I had a hell of a journey ahead of me, but at least I wasn't going to die right HERE.

    • Last year, something eerily similar happened to a man named Jonathan Metz. While cleaning out his basement, his arm became trapped behind his boiler. For three days he struggled to break loose, and aside from himself, was worried sick about his dog Portia, who he could hear barking frantically, locked in upstairs. As time went on, he noticed her barking spells becoming fainter and less frequent, coinciding with his own weakening state, and finally resolved to cut his arm off in order to get free. His story was featured on the TV show I Survived. At the end of the episode, the viewer was given an update on his condition, and this final footnote was included:

  "Jonathan's dog Portia also survived"

  • "Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist." These words alone are enough. That letter is Christmas as far as I'm concerned.
  • The 2010 Chilean miners rescue. Seeing the first rescued miner walk on the surface for the first time in two months will make your heart soar. Seeing him pick up his seven-year-old son will make even the most stonehearted person cry a waterfall of Manly Tears.
  • If only any of the recent gay teen suicides had heard this
  • The plight of the Dalits, or Untouchables of India. Oppresed, cursed, beaten down and treated like animals and slaves. All because they lost the lottery of where they were born and who to. They are treated as expendable, their own religion does nothing for their plight, saying they should accept their lot. Every time you hear India mentioned as a powerhouse of the 21st century, remember that there are 200 million downtrodden still waiting for their chance at equality.
  • The killing of the poor boy that inspired the movie Boys Don't Cry. A group of guys offered him a ride home from a bar, then took him out to a field, beat him within an inch of his life, then tied him to a chain-link fence and left him for dead. Why? He was gay.
    • Actually that was Matthew Shepard, tortured and killed for being gay. Brandon Teena was the man who was raped, assaulted and murdered for being transgendered and whose story inspired Boys Don't Cry.
  • This isn't listed under Memorials and Epitaphs because it isn't an epitaph, but Isaac Asimov once said, "Those of you who will live into the twenty-first century, come put a wreath on my grave, because this will be the slogan: No more twentieth centuries." Considering all of the horrible things that happened in the twentieth century, it is rather poignant.
  • Hearing the godlike voice of Christopher Lee practically accept his mortality.
  • The story of Jordan Rice. Just 13 years old, he and his mother and younger brother were stranded on a car roof in the Queensland floods. A rescue helicopter came, but could only pull one person up at a time. Jordan insisted they take his brother first, and while he and his mother waited their turn, they were swept away.
  • In 2005, a girl named Jenna died of meningitis. She was popular at a local rock club she attended every week. A few nights after her death, the DJ asked for a minute silence. The only sounds heard were the sobs of people hugging each other tight. Once the minute was up, everybody stood and listened to her favourite song - Green Day's "Time Of Your Life"
  • ANY person diagnosed with a mental disorder. Those who have some hope of averting their symptoms use drug therapy, but there's always the risk of developing a harmful addiction. Some don't manifest in victims until they've reached their teen years or adult hood, in which case it may pass to their offspring, ensuring a Vicious Cycle of cognitive disfunction, mood disorders, depression, dissociation and paranoia.
    • Quite simply, MUCH more needs to be done to raise awareness of Mental Disorders, in particular Anxiety disorders like Social Phobia and Agoraphobia (imagine being too paralyzed with fear to make even basic contact with people and the outside world, despite a burning desire to do so..... yeah. The sheer number of people who dismiss them as 'not much to worry about' need to be informed about them. Those who don't suffer are the lucky ones.
    • And not just mental ones either, physical abnormalities also make it hard for the recipient to enjoy anything close to a normal life. For example, people with Aquagenic Urticaria can never have physical contact with water, one of the most abundant and crucial substances on the planet, without getting serious allergic reaction. Or whose with congenital insensitivity to pain with anhidrosis, a real life version of Feel No Pain, such as little girl Gabby Gingras, who spent her first years damaging her own body and blinding herself but unable to do anything because she couldn't feel it happening to her. And finally Fatal Familial Insomnia, an inherited genetic disease so rare that it is diagnosed in as few as twenty-eight families world wide. It occurs during later years usually when the unwitting victim has already had children who may have 50% chance of inheriting the disease. What's more depressing, F.F.I. has no known cure (sleeping pills don't have effect and so far not even gene-therapy works to alleviate the symptoms) and almost always results in death (but not after the victim has suffered delusions, hallucinations, panic attacks, phobias, dementia, and weight loss - all a result of not being able to get a good night's sleep). Watching children of a family with a history of Fatal Familial Insomnia on the Discovery Channel facing the possibility of experiencing a Fate Worse Than Death before the onset of real death with grim determination is something that has to be admired.
    • And you know what's pretty bad? Some people with even mild disorders like Aspergers are tortured at school. They're regularly seen as less than human and treated as an obstacle. And you know what else? Adults turn a blind eye, oftentimes encouraging it or are even the ones doing it themselves..
  • Witness Protection, or at least the U.S. version of it. In order to protect an individual whose life is at the mercy of, say, The Mafia or other organized crime, the government not only grants the witness a new identity and home, but said witness is never allowed to communicate with people from their past ever again.
  • Cynicism and jadedness. The fact that some people can read this entire page, all the heart-wrenching things written here, and not care makes me cry.
    • There's something worse, and it is not being able to cry or care even if it affects you. It can happen and trust me, it's a sickening feeling.
  • The later years of Dr. Alan Turing, the father of computer science. After helping in the cracking of the Enigma cipher and developing the concept of the algorithm, Turing was convicted of "gross indecency" on account of his homosexuality (see also Oscar Wilde, who was convicted of the same crime). This cost him his security clearance and a cryptography consulting job, and led to him being given chemical castration in an attempt to Cure Your Gays. Two years later, he poisoned himself; some believe that his suicide and the depression that led up to it were a result of the chemical treatment. Every single computer in the world can be traced back to Turing's work, and yet many people (especially outside of the computer science community, gay community, and Britain) have no idea who he even is.
  • The Virginia Tech massacre. Not only was this one of the bloodiest school shootings ever, the SWAT teams with their full body armor and automatic weapons just stood outside the building while people were being gunned down. One professor who was a Holocaust survivor and made a Heroic Sacrifice had more courage than all of them put together.
  • This story about a little girl who committed suicide so her vision-impaired father could be given her eyes and her brother could be given her kidneys. Even worse, the girl left a suicide note explaining this, but it wasn't found until after she was cremated.
  • The Oslo attack. The shootings at Utöya. Over eighty people died so that the shooter would gain as much publicity as possible for his book, but this sentence written by him, roughly translated:

 [Everything that he had done to write the book] is, however, barely noticeable when compared to the sacrifice that's being done in relation to the distribution of this book, the real publicity work :)

    • Notice the smiley. He talked about a massacre that he had committed and didn't even acknowledge it, made it into a joke. I...
  • This Message:
    • It is September 11th, 2011. I am speaking to those of my generation , those who began life in the late 20th century, and saw, through the eyes of a child, the beginnings of a new millennia. We saw 9/11. Our parents sent us to play in another room, and we walked away, wondering why they had tears in their eyes, what we had seen on the screen that we so often watched a yellow sponge prancing around on, what was throwing up those pillars of blackest smoke and flickering fire so huge our minds could not comprehend their size, so young were we. And even when we learned what it was, the wreckage of two skyscrapers who bad men had flown planes into, we did not realize until later: we had been attacked. As clearly as Pearl Harbor so many years before, we had been attacked. But what was Pearl Harbor to us? Something of the past, something we hardly thought about, something, even now, we regard as just another set of facts we have to slave over for our history tests. This is the bottom of the Tearjerker page. Look up at all the entries recorded. We don't have Phoebe Prince in our history books. Nor the girl who got to watch Up right before she died of cancer. Nor Genie, the feral child. Nor the too many other personal instances of tragedy: suicide, kidnappings, torture, murder. No, we have World War I and II, George Washington, Martin Luther King. What do they mean to us, though? Only facts to be forgotten when we get that A or B. That is a tearjerker: we have forgotten our past. So many things newsworthy in our time will be forgotten in the wake of tomorrow's news. Our children will forget Columbine, because they'll have their own school shootings. They'll forget 9/11, because they'll have their own wars. So, to those of my generation, I have a favor to ask: Never Forget. Keep your own history books. Remember those you have lost. Tell your children of that guy in 10th grade, who was killed by a drunk driver. Of your cousin, who died fighting terrorists in a faraway country. Of 9/11, the greatest tragedy of our childhood. Teach them of the pain, the sorrow, the loss. But... but, my friends, most of all, most imperative of all, teach them of what we learned from those tragedies. From your friend, don't drink and drive. From your cousin, that dying to protect one's family and friends may be the greatest sacrifice of all. And from 9/11... that, when the stone and metal that we have built up in our lifetime comes crashing down as molten rain, when the blood of our friends and family flows through the streets, and the cries of the mourners echo on every block, that is when we pick each other up, and, not as Americans, but as good humans who wish to see an end to war and death, and we stand, shoulder to shoulder, and face the twisting, black storm before us, not with hesitation or fear, but with squared jaws and clenched fists, and we shout out in one voice, brothers and sisters, children of God, to those who would tear us apart, "Our light will not be extinguished!". And then it will be them who quake with fear, who hide in their holes and avert their eyes from the glory and strength of those who march into the fight armed with love, honor, and memory. So I ask you: remember. Remember this page. Remember every page. Remember every friend. Remember every life. Because, as surely as the sun will set, there will be another 9/11, another school shooting... another World War. So do not let our children go unprepared to face that same storm. Because that would end in the worst tearjerker imaginable.
  • This article.
  • The Trauma Conga Line some people go through.
  • In the aftermath of the 2011 Japanese earthquake, voice actress Aki Toyosaki wrote a heartbreaking yet also heartwarming series of posts on her blog (here translated in English for our reading pleasure).
  • Watching Charlie Rose's Appreciation of William F. Buckley Jr, after his death. Hearing Buckley talk about being tired of life, his reaction to his wife's death, and Rose's final tribute is heart-wrenching. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=570gr40wgVc&feature=relmfu
  • A sort-of Real Life Fridge Sadness example, if your parents "got started late," the realization that they most likely won't live to see your children can be crushing.
    • Or watching your parent and your child develop a sweet, loving, awesome relationship for two, three, maybe four or five years... and then you have to explain to your toddler what "dead" means, and watch their memories slowly fade away, and they don't remember who Grandpa was.
    • This is what Charlotte Zolotow's beautiful book My Grandson Lew is for.
  • John Thomson's story. From the tragic death of a beloved and talented young player, to the 40,000 who attended his funeral to the fact that his grave remains a place of pilgrimage even 80 years on.
  • Bobby Murcer, former color commentator for the New York Yankees. When he lost his battle with a brain tumor three years ago, the Yankees' fanbase were shocked and greatly saddened at losing a voice who was with them for over twenty years.
  • Dealing with a family member or friend with Alzheimer's or Dementia.
  • The repeal of DADT (Don't Ask, Don't Tell). A soldier comes out to his dad the day it's repealed. A Navy Lt. marries his partner of eleven years.
  • Go to YouTube and watch any video about a soldier returning home to surprise a loved one after an extended deployment. The ones where a soldier pops up at a younger family member's school (child or younger sibling) are especially tearjerking.
  • People who can't express sadness in a "normal" way, or can't even feel it when something happens that is too close to them, and are incriminated by others or even themselves. A person higher up on this page hated herself because she didn't feel sad about the suicide of a boy she knew only by sight until she saw the reactions of people who knew him personally.
  • On March 14, 2008, 4 men were seriously injured in Iraq when their truck was struck by an IED. All 4 survived, but since then, 2 of them have died: SPC Alex Knapp from a heart attack, and SGT James Hackemer when he was thrown from a rollar coaster.
  • Keeping with the war theme, the mental image of families listening for draft numbers during the Vietnam War and hoping their fathers, sons, husbands, and brothers' numbers wouldn't be called.
    • Go the whole hog: Drafts themselves. Conscription is utterly unfair. Forcing people to fight, it's like steering animals. It's sick and deluded behaviour on the part of a government, and it makes me choke up thinking of all the lives casually wasted by governments, lives wasted because people were forced into giving their life for their country.
  • Abuse. Any kind. Child abuse, spousal abuse, elder abuse, animal abuse, etc.
  • The transcript of the voice recording of Air France Flight 447 is pretty heartwrenching.
  • The Holocausts of Nazi Germany has a chapter dedicated to it in most high school history books, but the Rape of Nanking (and many other Imperial Japanese military atrocities) or the Soviet Union's Gulags are only briefly mentioned. It's not that the Holocausts deserve less screen-time, just the other World War II atrocities (both foreign and domestic) deserve more. However...things hurt more when they hit closer to home. We may not suffer in the same languages, but we do suffer in the same world.
  • The story of Dr. Zhicheng Hu. Detained in China, accused of stealing technology, he was freed without charge after 17 months of detention, which resulted in him being injured and requiring major surgery. And now border patrol won't let him go home for no given reason, even when he had two US Ambassadors with him! He's been separated from his family for three years. And the petition to try and help him? Stuck at around 55,000 signatures, little more than half the signatures the petition needs. Just reading what this man's daughter, wife, and son have gone through alone makes this tropette tear up.
  • Sex-selective infanticide. In China and India, boys are much preferred to girls and females are often aborted. Even after the baby is born, she isn't really safe. Often female babies are left to die or abandoned at orphanages. If abortion or abandonment don't claim the girl, often girls are neglected and not given the same medical treatment that boys would receive.
    • Due to China's one-child policy, sex-selective abortion has led to a ratio of 100 females per every 118 males while the natural world average tends to have more females than males.
    • In India, a girl's family is expected to pay her groom a large dowry. Although, dowries have been made illegal, it doesn't stop thousands of years of tradition. Like in China, a lot of Indians are aborting females in favor of male children.
    • Due to the lack of females, males are less likely to get married which makes them more likely to commit crimes, and girls are often trafficked to provide men with wives.
  • Mental illnesses and disorders, or rather, the stigma associated with them. It's very sad that an individual is often ostracized from society for something he or she can't help and that they are automatically assumed to be stupid or a threat for no reason other than the mere illness or disorder they have. What's even sadder is that sometimes, even the professionals trained to help these people can be heartless. In addition to the stigma, something almost as bad are the jokes people make.
  • Dr. Emmanuel Bronner, the man who invented Dr. Bronner's Magic Soap (and wrote its label, pleaded with his parents to leave Nazi Germany, but they refused. His last contact with his father? A postcard, saying, "You were right." The saddest and sweetest part is that he still believed that humanity was good.
  • "My name is Daniel Pearl. I am an American Jew."
  • This image. That proclamation was made over two thousand years ago, but many Iranian people still respect it. It's even more so if you're a Zoroastrian like Cyrus.
  • Sometimes The Holocaust suffers from A Million Is a Statistic. Sometimes people think that because there are still Jews in the world, Hitler failed. Before 1933, there was a rich Jewish culture in Eastern Europe. Jewish villages, communities and farmsteads, each with its own history and customs, stretched from the Rhine to the Volga. All of that is gone now, turned into ash at the murder-mills of Auschwitz, Treblinka or Chelmno, or shot dead at Babi Yar and a hundred other nameless sites across the East. And we will never get it back. Once the last survivors die, it will cease to exist as memory too - the swiftness of the Nazi terror meant that few of those traditions were passed on, few of those family histories documented. One of the most tragic things about the The Holocaust is that, by 1945, the Jews were almost gone from what would have been the territory of the Greater German Reich. Hitler won his war against the Jews.
  • At about 8:00 into this interview with Afeni Shakur (former Black Panther and mother of murdered rapper Tupac Shakur), she is asked if she has a personal message for her son's fans. Afeni says, it would be "to live brightly, strongly, out loud, to sing, to write, to dance, to play, to create music, to create plays, to create poetry, to create... to create. To live, to act as though life is so precious that if you don't get this line down right now, the world is gonna end! I want his fans to live, giving us everything they have. Because I sincerely believe that those young people, and other people, who want for freedom and justice in the world, that they will be able to give us that, but only if we encourage them to be wrong sometimes, if we encourage them to make mistakes sometimes. So I say, live out out, I say it because I want them to live, and I want them to make mistakes out loud, and to not apologize for their mistakes but to look at them and say, 'How can I do it better next time?', always knowing... that there is another next time."
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