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Emile M Tubiana

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Childhood Memories III
By Emile M Tubiana
Sunday, June 29, 2008

Rated "G" by the Author.

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The Second Day of the Bombings

Childhood Memories III

The Second Day of the Bombings

Our neighborhood was totally destroyed.  All one could see were piles of stones.  Streets were strewn with all kinds of debris, household articles and pieces of furniture, all completely wrecked.  Terrified crowds were running in all directions looking for shelter.  Now that so many houses had been destroyed, one could have a complete perspective of our small town with its church still standing in the center.  After each "all clear", shelters would empty and the people would emerge completely drained mentally and physically.

In our town wars had ended after the Vandals.  The Byzantines had rebuilt it, and with the passing of time it had become a beautiful and important center in the region.  Was it going to be besieged once more?  There was not much left to be saved.  My imagination wandered and went back to the seventh century when it was in the hands of the Arabs who had converted its people to Islam with the power of the sword.   Were we on the verge of being overtaken by the Germans and maybe having to learn their language instead of our French language?

To the extensive Roman ruins, of which we were so proud, were added the newly created ruins of so many houses.  Dust from destroyed buildings was hanging heavily in the air.  A smell of burnt blood rose up in the clear sky as if to show the world the horror of what we were going through.

Death did not scare us anymore but physical pain was haunting us.  The suffering of the wounded people was extremely hard to endure.  None of us knew what death meant.  It may seem easy to watch other people's death; we weep for the loss of others but actually we weep in anticipation of our own death.  It is difficult to understand enigmas, and death is one of them.  Church bells no longer tolled for the dead but chimed for those still alive. 
We had the whole night in front of us.  Never had I realized that the night was such a friend and the darkness no longer frightened me.  Dead bodies were indistinguishable in the ruins.  We had been told so many tales about the dead, which scared us.  And there they were, lying still, no longer inducing fear in me.  Fear, I believe, is induced by the behavior of the living.  They obey orders blindly and often act against their own heart and mind while serving causes they do not espouse.  They are ordered by cruel superiors whose ambition stifles human feeling.

Around the town square, ruined houses had been converted into cemeteries.  I could not see the point of killing so many defenseless people and destroying so many houses.  Those planes with their bombs were destroying our paradise, our soccer game and scattered our team and our friends everywhere in the world.

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Reviewed by Emile Tubiana 7/14/2008
Georg I know that the American didn't wanted to hurt us but war is war. Emile
Reviewed by Georg Mateos 7/10/2008
The only Tunis I do remember is the reconstructed city, tha happy city with happy people, far away from Normandie, Belgium and Germany.
We knew about the war going on in North Africa, but facing the blunt of an organized and well suplied enemy we didn't gave a thought to the innocent people caught in the middle.
Sorry about that sad memories, but remember we weren't there to hurt.

Reviewed by Cryssa C 7/3/2008
A sobering look into life... Thank you for sharing your perspectives and always teaching us, Emile.
I loved this particular line..."It is difficult to understand enigmas, and death is one of them."
There is much to contemplate in that line alone...

Reviewed by Lois Christensen 6/30/2008
Death is nothing to be afraid of. God wants us when he desires us to come home to home. Wherever you are when it is your time, you will go with him to you eternal home in heaven. But I still have flashbacks from Tom's dying and I know you will always have memories of these bombings. We never forget the trials and tribulations we have to go through, for a good reason I suppose.
Reviewed by Jackie (Micke) Jinks 6/30/2008
Knowing pain as I have had lately, I still cannot contemplate what the wounded and dying must have experienced during those times you write of, Emile; nor of the fear of life and days of bombings that you experienced as a child. Your memories could be those of the Iraqi and Afghanistani and many other children in the Middle East and Africa today! It appears mankind will never learn from past histories, and that truly saddens me. Thank you for sharing these frightening times of your youth with us, dear friend...
Blessings and Love - Micke
Reviewed by Rose Rideout 6/30/2008
This is devastating to have such memories from a childhood. For those who think they had it bad all they have to do is read what others had to live through, maybe they will appreciate life a bit more. It breaks my heart to think of it. Thank you for educating us Emile.

Newfie Hugs, Rose

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