Where Were You When…

Yesterday when I read “Childhood in a time of peace” by Ellen Emily (a correction- so sorry for the mistake!) over at Rice and Coffee, I immediately thought of my son. The bookends of the childhood in that slice were bookends in his life, too.

He may not remember seeing the crowds of people climbing onto the Berlin Wall, but I remember seeing in one of the news reports a child in the crowd who was wearing the exact red, blue, and yellow jacket my son had at the time. It was startling for me to see and ponder two boys in such far apart places and circumstances having something so ordinary in common.

Later, a family friend, an Army chaplain like my husband, who was stationed in Germany, gave us an actual piece of the wall. It cemented memories of that time in history in my mind.

My son did not grow up with the same feeling of peaceful times. I am not saying his childhood was not peaceful, it mostly was. But he grew up as an Army brat, wearing child-sized camouflage uniforms like the real ones his daddy wore. He knew there were men and women ready to go off to fight for our country at a moment’s notice. He aspired to wear a uniform when he grew up, too.

9/11 marked the end of his childhood, as well. He joined the Marines right out of high school. Eventually he served in Iraq. Now he lives with PTSD. But he lives.

I remember drills in my elementary school days where I hid under my desk. Now I do these drills with my students. Even though I did the drills and sometimes felt afraid, there was a lot of peace and goodness in my childhood, too. I pray that for my son, my daughters, and for my students.

And then as I am ready to post this, I turn on the morning news, and there is Brussels. We live in times when it is hard to hope for peace. Still, there is no other choice but to hope and work toward peace in whatever ways we can as individuals.

There was a song we sang earnestly during my high school and college years…”Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.”

This entry was posted in home and family, memories, SOLSC 2016, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Where Were You When…

  1. jmjd says:

    It is hard to think about posting with the news on in the background. Your final sentence gives me hope this morning. Thank you for that.

  2. Oh my gosh….I remember singing that song in grade school and watching my teacher cry every time we practiced it. It is a crazy world we live in now but we keep moving forward.

  3. mgminer says:

    Yes…”the peace that was meant to be. With God as our Father, brothers all are we. Let me walk with my brother in perfect harmony.”

  4. Linda Baie says:

    There was just a piece about Brussels on Sixty Minutes, and now this. I am sad for the children, too, but my daughter reminds me that my parents, and that generation grew up during WWII, also a scary time, and they survived. I am, however, sorry about your son, and that he gave his life to serve, and must live the consequences. I hope he has help and will get better.

    • newtreemom says:

      Thank you. Like many others, he has given much. The VA is not perfect, yet it does provide support. I am grateful my son is still here, and doing OK. I feel indebted to all the mothers whose sons and daughters gave the ultimate sacrifice.

  5. arjeha says:

    We still sing Let There Be Peace On Earth in church occasionally. We all truly need to think about the words and take them to heart.

  6. Ramona says:

    We sang this song in a high school assembly when the Vietnam draft ended. It was quite meaningful and a moment I’ll always remember. It is important that we continue to hope and work for peace.

    • newtreemom says:

      The song makes me think of Vietnam, too. A meaningful time when I sang it with a group was in Ft. Bragg, NC, at Christmas. My husband was an Army chaplain. When the chaplains and wives group was together, we sang in honor of all the soldiers deployed during the invasion of Panama.

  7. MaryHill says:

    I had the same reaction. Now I am working on my Wednesday post with the news playing. I loved that song, “Let there be peace.”

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