one gravesite of so many

It’s Remembrance Day and like so many people I am feeling a complicated tenderness. I posted on my writing blog here a story and photographs about my family’s history and war.

Cemetery in Mexico.

Cemetery in Mexico.

It’s a good day for contemplation.

Catholic Church, Mexico

Catholic Church, Mexico

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World Trade Center

Shot taken from Staten Island ferry in August, 1986.

Shot taken of the twin towers from Staten Island ferry in August, 1986.

Where were you on September 11, 2001? I remember it vividly. Those towers came down, taking innocent lives, and then Iraq came down, taking yet more innocent lives. And here we are 14 years later witnessing the mass exodus of Middle Eastern peoples into Eurasia and Europe.
If you want to connect the dots and understand why, if you want a personal account that illustrates what happens to individuals, families, and society when war destabilizes a region for years on end, if you want to see what it takes to make millions of people flee their homelands, then read Iraqi Girl (Diary of a Teenage Girl in Iraq), an anonymous blog written by a girl named Hadiya in the years following 9/11:

“Let’s go back to my UNnormal life. One day about a week ago, I was eating my breakfast and took a look through the window to see if the car that takes me to school was waiting there. Yes, there was a car there. No, not a car but an American tank. The road was closed but everything seemed calm.
My parents and my grandma were also having breakfast and I was worrying about my exam that I had that day. I sat on the chair and after that I don’t know exactly what happened but there was an explosion near us. The type of explosion that you will always remember. Pieces of the window fell on the floor and the table and in our breakfast. It seemed like it only took a minute and we all ran out of the room. It was a big explosion and plenty of our windows were broken but we are lucky that our heads were not…”