Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Bombs Over Baghdad

Five years ago, on this day, I had dinner with the family of my boyfriend at the time. When dinner was over, I found myself standing behind his father - an intimidating man: doctor, quiet, serious, as Southern as you get - who was quietly watching the news. We watched the coverage in silence as the bombings began. My boyfriend entered. "They've started bombing Iraq," I replied to his questioning. It was my spring break.

After 9/11, I knew the government (even many of the American people) would be out for blood. I even mentioned as much in an angry editorial I wrote in the school paper, which was written in response to the indifference and the joking of many of my peers. "When your family and your friends start going off to war, you'll start to care," I warned. I didn't think that this would be that war.

As I listened to the news commentary that night and looked at President Bush's face, I honestly believed it would be over in just a few months, a blip in our history like the bombings sanctioned by Clinton or our little tussle with Kosovo. But here we are in 2008...thousands of lives later, billions (trillions?) of dollars later...wondering when it's going to end.

All I can do is look at a list of the casualties from the war, read their names, look at their ages, see where they come from...and wonder how many people are crying harder than I am, because this war is more real to them than it can ever be for me.

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