Thursday, November 10, 2016


   A Latino mom, the wife of a board member of the Milwaukee Immigrant Worker’s Center, Voces de la Frontera, reported that kids were crying at school in anticipation of being deported.

   Our seven year-old granddaughter Monique was upset election night.  She was convinced Donald Trump was going to bomb San Francisco.  Dori and John, her parents, assuaged her fears and by bed time she was OK.

   Sunday, December 71941 as a six year old I had similar fears.  We were at my grandparents' for Sunday dinner when we became aware of the attack on Pearl Harbor.  Everybody gathered around the radio and I knew the news wasn’t good.  My uncle Ed had already been drafted; all were concerned.

   On the drive home I asked my parents if the war would come to our country.  They said no – not to worry, but I could tell they weren’t sure.  

   As for the age of anxiety in the 50’s, my fears of nuclear warfare were suppressed with little conscious awareness. During serving time in the Army I accepted the threat of war as just part of everyday life.

   I don’t remember ever going to bed as a child with a fear like Monique’s of being bombed; I was willing to accept that it just wouldn’t happen.  But what about the kids in Aleppo – it happened – it’s happening – will we welcome them as refugees or have we been so desensitized by constant war that we will say no?

   Monique’s eight year old cousin Sean in London was empathetic. When he overheard the story of Monique’s worries he said, “She can come to London and sleep in my room if she wants.”

   But Monique is doing fine.  Wednesday at supper she offered a toast: “to Hillary, she will run again – she never gives up.”

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