July 05, 2006

Bombs Bursting In Air

Last night, I stood on the forth floor landing of my fire escape and watched the fireworks. In all the neighborhoods of the city, fireworks could be seen rising above the treetops. The air smelled of sulphur and gun powder. The sounds - pops, whistles, hisses, and booms - filled the night. One man said it sounded like Bhagdad. I think he was right. I thought of the people I work with, especially our Master Sergeant, Tony. He has been to Iraq, many of them have. Some have been to Afghanistan, Somalia, Haiti, Panama, and Bosnia. They have all seen combat of one kind or another. I thought how Tony must hate Independance Day. He talks about it more than most, as matter of factly as if he were discussing a broken down car. He can't sleep, he reacts badly to loud noises, things sometimes seem so surreal, so different. You can't sneak up on him. It's taking your life in your hands to even try, and a few have. You'd never know there was anything wrong to look at him. He laughs and smiles and jokes like everyone else, but when he talks about Iraq it is like he wears a mask. Yesterday, and still today, I hoped for him a quiet Fourth of July. He is at a summer training camp, away from his family. I hope for him and all the veterans for which the sights, sounds, and smells of that day might bring less than good memories that they found a way to enjoy our Independance Day. I know they have lived their lives in the way they believe can best help other people. I believe that firmly. I can only hope to live my life in the way that can best help them, and all beings, be free from suffering. Happy Independence Day!

No comments: