Saturday, July 7, 2007

Five Miles, Uphill Each Way

Iraqi boy working his way down the dusty road past the blast walls.

Kids are resilient; Baghdad’s maybe more than most. They continue on with their childhood as if nothing in particular is happening around them. Every evening there’s a soccer game in the dirt lot down the street from the villa. Kids of all ages run back and forth in the brown dust kicking at what may have been a soccer ball a decade ago. Gunfire can be heard in the distance; police cars wail, security teams pass by in heavily armored cars. The game goes on. It’s all so very normal.

In the mornings children walk hand-in-hand to school, book bags slung over their shoulders, laughing with their friends. It’s surreal in a way. Children move off to the side as a heavily armed police convoy crashes down the road, machine guns and assault rifles protruding in every direction. The kids are unfazed, and continue on their daily journey.

I wonder how many American families would allow their children to walk to school each morning, picking their way through a war zone. I remember my father telling me how he used to walked to school, five miles, up hill each way, through the New England snow. I gotta tell you Dad, I’ll pick snow any day over mortars and sniper fire.

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