“To a man utterly without a sense of belonging, mere life is all that matters. It is the only reality in an eternity of nothingness, and he clings to it with shameless despair.” ― Eric Hoffer
A C A S U A L I T Y O F W A R ?
Tuesday afternoon around 3:15 p.m. I was watching television when I heard a loud ruckus outside my patio door. I peered out the window and noticed Josef and a number of other youngsters his age engaged in a battle royal on the lawn. Despite his smaller stature he was actively pushing and shoving the other youngsters around the yard.
The other children were immigrants from Syria who had recently moved into the apartment building. They were quiet, well-behaved and friendly. Their father and mother were amicable and hard-working people who always have the time to say hello and chat.
I noticed that Josef suddenly darted to the back stairs, climbed up on the railing and pulled a seven-foot length of plastic moulding from the wooden balcony above. The photo shows him walking to the street, placing the moulding into the water and then letting it soak there for a few seconds.
The other children watched as he then proceeded to attack them with this makeshift weapon. They managed to take it away from him and hold him down on the ground for a few minutes. They finally released him and left the area.
He then ran back to the stair railing, stood on the top rung and began yelling loudly for the other children to come back and “face me”. After a few moments of this action I went to the back door and asked him what he was doing. He told me he was challenging the other children to come out and face him.
I asked him if he lived in the apartment complex. He told me that he did.
He added that he did not know the other children but recognized them as being Syrian by their clothing and mannerisms.
I asked him to get down from the bannister railing before he would fall and injure himself.
He assured me he knew what he was doing and continued yelling for the other children to come back out. He had pressed his body close to the concrete wall in an attempt to camouflage himself.
Eventually he left the area and headed home.
Whenever the topic of immigration is entertained the children are not really mentioned. The parents are viewed a “radical” or “treacherous” or some other form of racial slur meant to make them untrustworthy.
I think more emphasis should be placed on the psychological well-being of the children who are traumatized by the hostile activity that has made them homeless and without a country to call home.
If soldiers on military missions need to be debriefed after their sojourns into dangerous situations I believe that children and impressionable adolescents and young adults from these countries should also receive extra counselling so that they will be better able to cope with the new demands and familiarities of their new countries.
In many cases vetting is not the end of the story. Only the beginning. — gc