• I am young, yet old.

    I was born in the end of a war, the Cold War.
    A war which I do not remember.

    I was raised in another war, the Gulf War.
    A war to which I payed little heed, I thought of only my father fading away.

    I grew up in two wars, the war with Iraq and the war with Afghanistan.

    I still remember 9-11. I saw the planes crash on the news before I left for school but thought nothing of it, I had not realized or understood. As I walked into the warm, orange courtyard of my school the stillness struck me. No child played, few were there. Children, teachers, and adults cluttered together sharing news and stories. I stood alone in the middle of the sandy court yard in awe, not of the crash for I knew of it, but of the stillness and quiet. I realize now it was like the eerie calm before a storm, that eve of another war.

    Then there was that night in which the war began. On a large bed, on which I had usually jumped, I sat still and quiet as I watched American bombs explode buildings unknown to me. Then, on the little television screen the president’s face appeared, his mouth spoke words that I did not comprehend. He spoke words of terrorist and fear. He spoke words of war.

    As I grew the wars continued. America’s wars continued. I began to learn more of wars.

    Of past wars that America had taken no part in, like Cambodian genocide. And wars that we made our own, like the Vietnam War.

    Of current wars which raged throughout our world, like the bombings in Israel and the child soldiers in Uganda.

    I learned of the wars my family had faced.
    My Father a veteran of the Gulf War and the Cold War who had slowly died of A.L.S. before I knew him.
    My Father’s father who jumped from planes down to Europe during World War II, who died of a brain aneurysm long before my birth.
    My Mother’s Father who joined America’s forces at seventeen and fought in the Asian seas and on Iwo Jima, who died before we could exchange words.
    Now two of my cousins fight in this war, and classmates go off to join as well.

    Then I saw the losses of war. A sign raised in a nearby house’s window, had an ever growing number of U.S. deaths in the war which rose and rose.

    I remember the day I stood in my J.R.O.T.C. uniform at a memorial service at my very own high school. My past classmate’s brother spoke of his brother’s service and bravery for our country while tears ran down his face and splattered on his glasses. Our country’s flag rippled in the wind at half mast under a cloudy sky.

    These wars and times of struggle have made me, like so many others, get old too fast.

    Then today came, January 20 – 2009.

    The day America receives a new president. I, like so many others, have hope for this man, but I shall remain wary and wait to see if this man helps our country and stays true to his words.
    This man who speaks healing and fixing not terror and fear. A man, a president who speaks of peace not war. A president who speaks of change