Nine days after K and I were married planes flew into the World Trade Center in New York.
Our honeymoon plan was to leave the country and backpack around the world for 16 months in Southeast Asia, India, Nepal, Eastern and Southern Africa, and Central and South America. We were scheduled to leave on October 15, 2001 and our journey was to begin in Indonesia.
After mourning the incredible tragedy that was September 11th with our families and community, we decided to go ahead with this trip though we decided to begin in Malaysia as there had already been several serious reports of violence in parts of Indonesia.
Our parents were nervous. It was an uncertain time in history and though Malaysia is very diverse, it is a majority Muslim country.
Do you know what happened to us there?
Malaysians treated K and I with incredible kindness and expressed their sympathies over the horrific events of September 11th.
They were also very curious about our nation's foreign policy choices.
People in Malaysia, and in many other countries over the course of our trip, asked us,
"Why can't the United States, the most powerful country in the world, be the kind of leading nation that everyone, everywhere looks up to?"I was never able to answer that question for anyone.
Instead, I had to tell them that I wondered about and wished for the same thing.
Nearly six years later, we are still asking the sons and daughters of our neighbors to serve our nation and risk their lives in a fight I can't seem to understand.
I have a deep respect for those who choose to serve in the military and I strongly believe that we should not ask them to sacrifice so much unless it is a last resort.
War seemed to be our first choice in this case.
In all these years, I can't say that we have made any significant strides towards being the kind of global leader that commands respect through the character of its actions.
There are so many wonderful things about the United States and yet, I am so disappointed.
I was especially haunted by the photo that circulated on the internet last month of a hooded Iraqi prisoner trying to comfort his son during a visit. (You can see the photo here, but I warn you, it will hurt.)
I could not find the right words to talk about how this photo affected me.
My very good friend found them for me.
I want to recognize Little Monkies for her post entitled, War and I hope you will read it and join her.
Please visit all of the featured posts in this month's Just Post Roundtable.
Ally with accident of birth
Alejna with throwing blame
Little Monkies with war
Mrs. Chicken with why
KC with working for the man
Mama Karma with let's act
Mary with mommy love thyself
Chani with serenity, limits to unconditional love, romanticizing homelessness, all the wilting people, this is not education
Crazymumma with it's just hair
Bad with around the corner i had a friend and doing it
Susanne with cloth diapers and pink third
Shelly with special needs
Blog Antagonist with the color of impetus is teal green and beauty interrupted
missing minorities (The entire blog)
Jaleh with mom vs. mom
Sage Femme with Incens(ationaliz)ed who also writes as Sage with thembelihle
Lawyer Mama with of privilege and prejudice
Jess with i touched al sharpton with my boobs
Julie with the divine right of kings, wergild and the big tragedy of the duke lacrosse scandal
Pundit Mom with only 40 years ago
Jen with american beauty, pulling rabbits, curbside pickup and we are all children here
Christine with 800 hour
Jenny with the almost great lebron james
Slouching Mom with we must never forget
Kaliroz with reality, morality and future-ality
Florian with Alexandra Renewal Project
Deb with operation first casualty
Flutter with open arms
Hel with speaking our truths
Jordan with reaching out
Cecileaux with street sense and uncommon sense
Cheryl with because i am a girl and class action suit
Shannon with act my issue
Alice with ahhh Nina and outdoor essentials
Mrs. Chili with cutting of our nose
Jennifer with all kinds of wrong