Aaron Bushnell was an active-duty member of the U.S. Air Force in May 2020. He then became a DevOps engineer. His friends described him as a “force of joy in our community” and “an amazingly gentle, kind, compassionate person.”

Bushnell committed self-immolation for a free Palestine. 

His final words were the following:

“I will no longer be complicit in genocide. I’m about to engage in an extreme act of protest — but compared to what people have been experiencing in Palestine at the hands of their colonizers, it’s not extreme at all. This is what our ruling class has decided will be normal. Free Palestine. Free Palestine. Free Palestine.”

If you have watched the video, you will hear the harrowing sound that bellows from Bushnell as he fights to repeat the words Free Palestine until his dying breath. 

Many will blame mental illness or say he was suicidal because his selflessness, sacrifice, and  martyrdom are unfathomable. Would those people say the same about Jesus’ sacrifice? Bushnell was in the military. He was willing to lose his life for our country. Would that sacrifice be whittled down to suicidal ideation?

Buddhist monk Thích Nhất Hạnh wrote to MLK Jr., “To burn oneself by fire is to prove that what one is saying is of the utmost importance… To say something while experiencing this kind of pain is to say it with the utmost of courage, frankness, determination and sincerity…”

Is this enough for you to support a ceasefire?