I just got back from trying to drop my daughter off to preschool. We were met by a teacher, accouning that school is closed today because it’s a “black day,” which means a day of mourning. I don’t think the full implicatons of Rugova’s passing are going to hit people for a number of days. We had an interesting time at church last night as people shared their reations to Rugova’s death. It’s creating a great deal of uncertainty, I think. I haven’t polled large numbers of people, and Rugova wasn’t univesally loved, but he had stature that no current politician seems to hold. He was known as a man of peace, an intellectual that has been called “Kosova’s Ghandi.”
Men who have paid the price for non-violence are not common in the Balkans. The popular tradition calls for men of action, men of high adventure and, sometimes, men of bloodshed. Time will tell, but I am afraid that Kosovo has lost something greater than its president.