Somewhere in Kandahar, a humvee rolled on a dusty road leading to the city center. It has been a productive patrol for the driver and his three companions. Rock music was playing and they were singing songs by Guns N’Roses. “Paradise City” played next. It was the Master Sergeant’s favorite, “Turn it up, turn it up.” he shouted above the diesel fed roaring of the Humvee.
An explosion violently rocked their vehicle turning it sideways to the driver’s side. Shattered glass, dust, smoke and the acrid smell of burnt flesh, metal, oil and explosives filled the cramped inside of the Humvee.
The Master Sergeant regained consciousness first as he felt everything in disarray. He pulled his comrade the driver out and tried to revive him. The driver opened his eyes and tried to say something. “I can’t feel my legs.” were his first words.
In the tropical nation of Cambodia, a 10 year old boy was playing with his brother near their farm. They were trying to beat each other at kite flying. “My kite is going to destroy yours.” said the younger boy quite menacingly yet happily as he pulled the strings of his kite. The older brother tugged harder at his string making his kite lurch sideways quickly. The aerial onslaught snapped the strings of the little boy’s kite and it fell on the ground about 30 meters North of their position. It fell behind the forbidden place.
“Papa said don’t go there” said the older boy as he turned to look at his brother, but he was too late. The younger boy was already running to get his kite. He tried to run as fast as he could but the younger lad was quick and nimble. Within a few seconds they were already below the mango tree - the first marker for the forbidden place. The older boy hesitated to chase his brother for knew what lies beyond. He has seen many of his friends go there. That’s why they call the Mango tree, the Death tree. Before he could shout the name of his brother, he heard a muffled explosion.
War is one of the leading causes for amputations and disability. As I write this now, the world contemplates another war in the Middle East. This time it is in Syria. Chemical weapons have been used against its civilian population. Nobody really knows who instigated the chemical attacks but fingers are pointed towards their dictator President Dr. Bashar al-Assad.
A decision has been scheduled to be made in the coming days on how and when an attack would be made. At this moment, the rest of the world could only pray for peace.
*Creative Commons Image via Flickr