Friday, April 24, 2009

Roadside beautification

SFC McG and I have been out on the road more often lately than up in the air. While I really love flying, as I've mentioned before, there's not as much detail to be seen from 500 meters above the ground.

The must be literally hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of concrete barriers in Iraq these days, some up to ten feet tall. Most of the ones where I live are just ordinary, drab concrete, and quite uninteresting. Out on the roads, however, some have been decorated quite deliberately. (I don't read Arabic, so I hope I'm not publishing something completely unfortunate....)

If you click on the photographs of the checkpoints (one a camouflage tent, the other a makeshift wooden box), you'll see flowers adorning a traffic cone in the one case and the wooden shack in the other. Additionally, you might notice the children standing around right in front of a presumably loaded AK-47.

(I certainly never was that close to a loaded automatic weapon in the hands of a Soldier when I was a young child....)

The decoration of these military roadside checkpoints tends to soften and humanize them somewhat.

Easter blessings and peace to one and all,

Fr. Tim, SJ

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