Posted by: bandaidchild | July 4, 2010

Snap, Crackle, Pop.

I’ve always found Rice Krispies to be one of the more tasteless cereals. Though that was typically one of three choices all growing up. Yum, yum!

Our neighborhood is engulfed in a shroud of smoke, colors, and noise. It probably won’t be a quiet night around here. My cat, Mike Tyson, has been hiding under the bed almost all day.

And I don’t blame her (yes, Tyson is a girl. We have two. that story is for another time); I’ve found myself quite pensive the last couple of days. All the places I have lived and traveled to overseas have been demolished and scraped back together from war. I’ve heard shot guns go off in South Africa when people came to hunt game on our base a few times in the year. I lived in a house in the middle of horseshoe mountains, so every shot made its way around the mountains; Dolby surround sound.

I’ve been thinking about all the wars that my Grandfather fought in, but never spoke about. I was reminded of the intricate folding of the flag and the 21 gun salute as we buried him in Willow Springs, Missouri on a cold day. I held a boy’s hand and tried not to cry.

I thought about the woman I met in Bosnia who hid in her kitchen for two years so she wouldn’t get shot by sniper fire. She lived in Sarajevo, one of the hardest hit areas, and the loud pops that make us giggle and say, “ooooh,” made a woman live in one spot in her house for two years because of those staccato, deadly pops. I remember seeing all of the buildings that somehow remain standing all throughout Bosnia and Croatia that look like swiss cheese.

And I remember even years after the war ended with Clinton’s presidency, that through clenched teeth and scorn looks how Serbians and Bosnians still hate each other, though they are the same people, and they live in the same land.

I thought about how much I hated to play the Memorial Day parade with the band. As if marching wasn’t enough, there wasn’t even any candy. I remembered despising how long it seemed we had to stand at City Hall and see men shoot guns over and over and over, and a canon and the mayor saying something forever.

I was selfish and stuck up for a long time in my life. It was an honor to see the men who’d served in wars and seen and smelled things I couldn’t imagine muster up the mental fortitude and tricep strength to place rifles in the air and shoot them in honor of those fallen to protect America.

To remember their brothers who heard shots ring about everywhere like bouncy balls in an enclosed room.

So I’m trying to stuff all my feelings into one folder. I can’t decide whether the “bombs bursting in air” make me happy that I live where I do, or whether they make me sad because other countries don’t get bright lights with their bangs, they get blood, destruction, loss.

And not to sound like debbie downer, but I can’t help but think of how these firecracker sounds must conjure up terrible memories for some veterans, whether they were born in 1935 or 1985.

Guess I will close my file folder and try to drift off to sleep either way.

I never thanked my Grandfather for serving in the war; I wish I would have.

-Becca

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