Yesterday an 88 year old man killed a guard at the Holocost museum here in downtown DC. I have family coming to visit me in the area for 2 weeks with their 5 children. I'm thinking we may be spending more time around our neighborhood pool... Or maybe we can look at the bright side of the crowds being less in town.
My girlfriend called me yesterday evening and we chatted about the news. We recalled all the local catastrophes we have lived through in this area. Starting with 911 and the Pentagon crashes. She was the friend who I called and said "turn on your television now!" We both were in shock. We both ran to our little elementary school down the street to retrieve our children. The line to sign them out that day went almost outside the school. Everyone just staring blankly into other mother's eyes thinking what this might mean for all of us.
Then we went through the DC area sniper shootings together. That sniper time was haunting. I was expecting Big Girl, (a larger target-yikes!). I felt fear for my life every time I went out. I remember hiding in between gas pumps while fueling up the van, scanning the area for the illusive 'white van' that everyone thought was the culprit's vehicle. I called and reported a neighbor who had a similar van as a possible suspect just to be safe. It was crazy! He just owned a lawn care business. He wasn't the sniper. It was a panicky time. I was sorta bothered that none of my family called with concern for me. It's like- if it isn't happening in their own back yard, it wasn't relevant. I'm over it now I guess... But the take-away lesson here is to show concern for someone other than yourself. They will remember it.
In Korea we felt threatened by the North Koreans with their missile launch into the Sea of Japan. The quarterly drills the military would put the dependents through were somewhat daunting. NEO exercises, they were called. Non-combatant Evacuation Operation. You had this folder with all your important papers in it and you went through a series of stations making sure you had everything in order. I remember asking one of the soldiers the stupid question of "why my husband never has to do these exercises." He just looked at me like I was the stupidest military wife on the planet (possibly true). "Because he is a combatant ma'am" was his answer. I put 2 and 2 together and realized he'd be off shooting bad guys while we got out of town. That sucked for me. Luckily all we had to do were pretend evacuations while we are over there. Which reminds me, now that North Kroea is acting up again. I should probably call my friend over there and let her know I am thinking about her.
It's a mad world.