Tuesday, September 20, 2005

War Hitting Too Close to Home

Why is one death in Iraq so much more painful to me than the thousand that preceded it?

This morning I found out that my parents' best friends' son was killed in a car bombing in Iraq yesterday, along with three other Marines. He was 36, the father of a three-year-old girl.

I'm crying as I write this.

When we found out that Michael was being called up to active duty in July (he had served in the Marines when he was in his twenties, and then the Reserves), my family shuddered. If any family deserved to have war pass them by, it's his.

Michael's parents, Irene and Tony, lost their fourth son, Danny (my parents' godson), at age 2 to Reyes' syndrome. A few years after that, their third son, Patrick, was diagnosed with cancer. He survived. Twelve years ago, Tony died of cancer.

Surely, Irene and her family had sustained their fair share of tragedy. Or so we thought.

How could this have happened? I can't make any sense of this. I am so sad, and so fucking angry. And ashamed that it has taken one death this far along in this immoral war to shake me so profoundly. How sheltered I have been, how complacent and isolated.

No more.