September 08, 2006

20th Century Child

I was born at the eve of WWII into a world of anxiety, before Hiroshima.

The world of annihilation was just a push button away. “Duck and Cover” my motto at 7.

At 11, the Soviets pushed their way into Hungary, and at 17 the missiles are at our door steps.

When we began to be proud at 18 and looked forward, our President was assassinated. The clouds of anxiety, creeps in to the back of my mind and I just became an adult.

At 19, I remember looking at Vietnamese Buddhist monks burn themselves with gasoline in protest. At the time, I thought of this as a noble protest. It was their singular final act. I did not think that suicide would ever become a means to kill others.

Two events occur the year I’m 23. The most devastating to me was the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. Now assassination is becoming part of our vocabulary. Two month later Robert F. Kenney is dead and his assassin is from Jordan a Palestinian refugee. The enemy changes, however slowly and we don’t notice.

The hijacking of airplanes, the Israeli wars and its day to day dealings with terrorist, and then Munich, the Israeli Olympic team dead. This is too much to contemplate at 27, I ‘m starting a new life. God Damn It!

At 32, I listened over the radio, the takeover of the B’nai B’rith Headquarters in DC. An Islamist group, home grown. Interesting

Over the next years, the bombings in Israel and Oklahoma; of embassies, ships, and airplanes; and the World Trade Center (the first bombing); meshed together and became the background noise of our lives.

This didn’t instill any fear because our lives had started in fear. Can’t survive living in constant fear, but at 56 the destruction of the World Trade Center Buildings brought back the anxiety I had at 7. The world is only a push button away from destruction. It was surreal.

The victims, the unbearable loss

The ghostly fallen towers

Anger and anxiety, I felt.

Annihilation, I want.

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