Innocence strikes ephiphany in time of war

Campus Times
April 4, 2003

by Gloria Diaz
Managing Editor

I spent this past weekend at home for the first time in two months. It was nice to be home and catch up with my family. The added plus was I got to spend time with my six-month old niece.

Although I did expect to get some rest after two months of virtually not having any, what I did not expect was to be blown away by something I never thought I would think about.

I was in the middle of playing with my niece when a special report came on the television.

It was an update on the war with Iraq. They were showing a tape of nighttime gunfire and giving the latest U.S. casualty numbers.

I watched with sadness and anger, like I always do, but this time it was different.

Rather than sharing my disdain for the war, I turned and looked at my niece, who had a big smile on her face.

She had this innocent smile with her two bottom teeth peeking out. She was happy, she had no idea of what was going on.

Upon seeing this baby laugh, it hit me: a child's mind is not cluttered and confused with world events as an adult's is.

My niece was doing the normal thing a baby would do. She demanded the attention of those who ignored her for those 30 seconds of television that captured their attention.

This epiphany has made me realize how much I wish I could go back to the days when I wasn't scared of a plane flying low around high-rise buildings or the threat of terrorism.

Another thing I thought about was that the cycle of life is going around once again.

During the first Gulf War, our generation did not know what was going on half a world away.

All we knew was that "Pogs" were the coolest thing around. As long as our afternoon cartoons were not interrupted, we were happy children.

Our minds were not questioning the motives of our President.

Back then it was George Bush and now it is George W. Bush.( Can you see what I am getting at?)

Instead, back then, we were questioning the motives of "Shredder" and his evil antics that forced the "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" to come to the rescue.

If only we could get those days back.

Although our lives have been consumed by what has been going on in Iraq, we are not the ones that are going to be paying for it 20 years from now; instead it will be our kids.

Our children, most of who are not born yet, are going to feel the effects of the second Gulf War, just as we are feeling the effects of the first one.

After all, this war stems from the unfinished business of the first Gulf War (At least that's what I think).

It is sad to know that a generation that barely has any recollection of the war will be suffering the consequences of another one that has little to no reasons as to why it is being fought in the first place.

That is the cycle I am talking about.

What is a rather amusing thought to me is that my niece laughs at these pictures only because she does not know what is going on, but then again we do not exactly know what is going on either.

Yet we continue to sit and watch the same pictures with fear of the possibilities that the cycle will come back and affect generations to come.

Not until six months ago did I appreciate what a baby had to offer the world, now i know that they give what we lost years ago.

Gloria Diaz, a sophomore journalism major, is managing editor of the Campus Times. She can be reached by e-mail at