Sunday, July 01, 2007

Close

Wow oh wow oh wow.

We were supposed to be flying out of Glasgow last Saturday (we ended up flying out of Edinburgh instead).

I know I should be feeling horror and grief, but my main feeling right now is elation that the plots in both London and Glasgow were thwarted.

In 1994, my family and I traveled to Jordan and Israel. There were areas of the West Bank that we were unable to see as planned, because a Jewish man from New York had recently opened fire in a mosque during prayers, killing a lot of people there. Another mosque we'd planned to visit was also closed, and we had to scrap the planned Egypt leg of our trip because it was deemed unsafe at the time.

We passed regularly through checkpoints where very very young men with big guns stood around our vehicle. Our driver changed the flag in the back of the small bus depending on the territory through which we were traveling.

I was 19 at the time, invincible, and wasn't terribly scared by the whole experience, though I was incredibly moved by it all.

I am 32 now and I know that tragedy can strike anywhere, at anytime; no one is immune, least of all me.

Knowing that is one thing, living it is quite another. I can't really imagine what it must be like to live in the Middle East, or to go to work every day in a likely terrorist target.

In 2002, shortly after they reopened National Airport in Washington, D.C., I flew into it for a sales call in northern Virginia. I couldn't believe how close we came to the Pentagon on our approach. During my meetings, from the office building's windows, I could constantly hear and see airplanes: so low, so close. By the time I departed for my relatively safe Midwestern suburban home, my blood pressure must have been sky-high. I remember wondering how so many people living and working near there handled the stress.

My prayer are with . . . the world. Who doesn't need them, at a time like this?

2 comments:

brooke said...

Unfortunately, yes, we live in a scary world. I was in Blacksburg less than 24 hours before the terror at Va Tech, and wasn't I lucky? My parents were all there. Aren't we lucky that we don't live it every day? Imagining the terror at Va Tech makes me sick, seriously sick, to my stomach, but I am grateful that it was a freak occurence, not a regular day to day happening.

Sarahlynn said...

So true.