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The Decade Ignored

 

For practically all of my formative years, the war on terror has been another fact of life. I can remember my fifth grade gym class being brought to a halt as planes crashed into the World Trade Center. We stood numbly, 10 or 11 years old, in front of a TV screen displaying images that didn’t make sense unless it was in a movie. At that time, I had no way of comprehending the factual repercussions that a tragic event like that would have on this country and this world. And, for the most part, I was personally sheltered from those repercussions.

Just one month ago, on March 19th, the U.S. passed the tenth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq. I read a few quiet articles tucked into the corners of websites, most of which discussed the fact that the anniversary went largely ignored. A few newspaper articles and op-ed pieces were scattered here and there, but no monumental amount of attention was devoted to what has proven to be a monumental moment in our country’s recent history. I realized how long ago this all began: over a decade of war. It has been easy to not think about it on a regular basis because it seems so far away.

For those involved in the Trojan War, however, the effects of war could be felt every day for the ten years of fighting. The devastated wives and mothers and lovers in Trojan Women felt a battle raging outside their city’s walls or a husband missing from the dinner table. There are Americans who experience similar emptiness when it’s time for dinner, and thousands of Iraqi families are mourning for the loss of a loved one or the destruction of their city.

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