Earlier in the week, it seemed flippant to write about how we’re in the middle of planning a trip to Europe this upcoming summer, or how we decorated our home for Christmas, or about how we spent Sunday afternoon drinking Shatto coffee milk and watching Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer over and over and over again. While everyday life continues for our little family, we’re painfully aware of the turmoil experienced by one of our closest allies.
On Friday afternoon, Clay and I continuously checked our phones for updates on Paris, not wanting to turn on a 24-hour news channel in effort to protect our children from such news – instead we watched Curious George. The horrific attacks in Paris, in addition to the most recent acts of terrorism in Beirut and the conflicting reports about the Russian plane disaster, has brought about a change in tone by which we discuss ISIS, their sympathizers, and the heartbreaking plight of refugees fleeing the violence.
Soon after the attacks, social media became infiltrated with red and blue toned profiles, status updates of je sis Paris were everywhere, and many in the western world were wondering if their home is next. But by Sunday things were different – not only does the world feel more contentious but our country seems particularly combative toward one another, which I suppose is the goal of such attacks because terrorism thrives on fear. I do wonder if we’ll look back on the attacks on Paris as the turning point – the turning point for what, I am not sure. But it seems dismissive to assume that nothing will result from these attacks – good or bad.
A couple of years ago, I wrote about the drums of war in regards to Syria. Those drums have varied in volume since that point but they seem louder today. The reduction of our military forces combined with a continued presence in Iraq and Afghanistan and now the growing threat of Islamic State has most military families bracing for another multi-front conflict fought by the few and in front of a divided country that hasn’t exemplified bipartisanship in years. It seems inevitable that cauldron is going to boil for awhile longer – I just wonder how long it can go before the pressure becomes too much for all of us to endure.