I didn't know for sure if I wanted to post today. I have such mixed feelings about war and the things that are labeled conflicts. I do not like that word, conflicts. It is just war, plain and simple.
There are many Americans who have never been touched by war. Please, consider yourself lucky if it applies to you. If you have never had a need to worry if your husband, wife, daughter, son or a friend is coming home at night, consider yourself lucky. If you have never stared at a television for hours on end, hoping beyond hope that you catch a glimpse of a loved one to assure yourself they are safe, consider yourself lucky.
When I was married, my husband served in the Army. One always realizes that this might mean your spouse will be called up for a war, but, at the same time, you really never think it will happen to you. My husband never actually left to go to the front lines. He was intelligence, and they fought another way. Except when we lived in Berlin. At the time we lived there, Berlin was a city behind the Iron Curtain. At night, you could hear gun fire, as people tried to escape to the West, to freedom. You saw that big, concrete Wall, the barbed wire, the No Mans' Land with the land mines. It was always there, yet it became something that we overlooked.. Really, what would ever happen to us? We were Americans, helping out, not really at war. Then came the bombing.
The La Belle Disco, on April 5, 1986 was bombed. Three people died and over two hundred others were injured. This was a place that was very popular with the service members. Many of those injured worked with my ex-husband. After that night, war was staring us in the face.
Life changed. We no longer could walk anywhere we wanted, any time we wanted. We were searched going into our houses, searched going into our Commisary and PX. Our children were searched going onto their school bus, at school and tanks and armed soldiers accompanied their buses and guarded their schools.
The morning of the September 11 bombings, started out so peaceful for my family. We were back in America, where it was safe. I was homeschooling two of my daughters at the time and Laura was still a toddler. We never had the television on, but for some reason, that morning I decided to watch the morning news while the girls got dressed. For the rest of the day, I never moved from where I was sitting. The shock of war being on our land was overwhelming. That evening, I invited my neighbors to dinner. That was just one night of many that we all sat around a table. We felt safer in numbers. Candles on our porch and our windows were always on. Our flag always flew. The one thing that I started seeing were the banners in windows. The Gold Star Moms. All these years later, there are still banners in windows. Moms and wives still hoping. Still waiting.
This morning, as I was going through Bloglovin', I came across a post on The Last Word On Nothing. The post is by Christie Aschwanden. Please, go there and read the post. I cried and cried as I read it. She was a child of a service member on active duty at the time of September 11.
Let us not forget those that keep us safe, here on our own soil and those elsewhere in the world. Don't forget for a minute, as that is where we begin to take things for granted.
If you are out today and happen to see a service member in uniform, stop him and thank him for his job. I do it all the time. It can be a very thankless job. A job that people sometimes turn their backs on.
Today, be safe. Tell your loved ones what they mean to you. There may be a time when you will be that wife, mother, sister, brother that is waiting and watching. Hopefully, that will never happen. Pray for peace.
Until next time,