Memoir: January 13, 14, 15, 16, 1991
*Note: I was watching TV during the evening of January 16th, 1991, when the networks were suddenly interrupted, and I literally got to watch the beginning of a war. It was amazing and chilling at the same time. I kept my wits enough to jot down some details, so I could record it in my diary later. It's one of those moments that you never forget.
Sunday, January 13, 1991
Watch the news religiously. A feeling of great apprehension, as though something disastrous is about to happen. As though we were standing on the edge of an abyss. Yesterday Congress voted to back the President. It was "the most historic day in Congress since war on Germany was declared".
5pm-- kids both asleep. Waiting for news.
Lovely day today-- D. made breakfast, lunch at McDonalds (to Anne's delight), and then shopping (at Wal-Mart)-- shirts and pants for the children.
Nice, but still not "spring-like" out.
Monday, January 14, 1991
The eve of war?
I feel on pins and needles, as though some personal decision or tragedy or event were imminent.
For weeks, then months, we have been wondering conjecturing, guessing-- Will there be war? Will there NOT be war?
Anne Lindbergh's book, "War Within, War Without", diaries and letters during WWII are brought into sharper focus, given new meaning and definition. It gives you more understanding of the nations' feelings, tensions, and apprehensions then. In many ways, those same feelings are probably being repeated now.
I feel just sick thinking of all the innocent civilians, particularly the children, who may be caught up in this.
War seems to be such a hideous thing.
Tuesday, January 15, 1991
Excerpts of letters written to Lois and Janice:
"...then all this news-- War? No war? War? No War? Keeps you on pins and needles and is very unnerving (at least it is to me, is it too you too?) I told D. this morning, about feeling in a rut, and when I stopped to think about it, I'll bet there are hundreds of thousands of US men and women in Arabia who would give anything to be here at home in a nice safe boring rut!
The news is so grim.
Here around Omaha SACS (Strategic Air Command) has beefed up security and Offut Air Force Base, and Epply Airfield too. And the big Fort Calhoun Nuclear Power Plant has done the same too. Reporters couldn't even get into SACS.
They say it is very dangerous for US servicemen and their families in Germany-- think of Thad and Julie and their babies!
Pan Am and TWA have cancelled most of their European flights. Did you hear, last night, that our Coast Guard has now been put on alert to watch for any threats to our ports!
Did you see what the biggest (and latest) sales item in Israel is?...a Plexiglas doghouse with a filter system to protect the family dog from a poison gas attack. Of all things, did you ever?
No, nothing new here. I've been glued to the TV during news time lately..."
"...He [John] is absolutely irresistible now. It's hard, sometimes, to put him down and go do something I should be doing. He loves to be played with and smiles and coos and "talks" back to you and giggles out loud. he also growls like a little bear-- very low and sometimes loud. It's a funny, masculine sound. Anne can really keep him entertained for a while now.
I see you are keeping somewhat a breast of the war news. I can't believe it. It makes me think of how it must have been for Americans before WWII. You know, everyone talks about it, you watch the TV for news of it, it's all you see in the papers-- makes you feel saturated by it.
They really emphasize the dangers of terrorism in this country too. I told Lois, they've warned people to be careful of places where large crowds may gather, places of finance, etc., airports particularly.
Wednesday, January 16, 1991
D. told me this morning that the president of George Hormels company has received a threat of violence against the Hormels plant here in Fremont-- they have a government contract supplying food to the American troops in Saudi Arabia. I was not surprised. I'd been thinking of this possibility weeks before.
Last night on the news: Heathrow Airport in London surrounded by army tanks and armed soldiers. Eerie, surreal sight.
APPROXIMATELY 5:40pm...The War Has Begun!
5:40pm...American attack on Bagdad
6:00pm...Rihad (Arabia)-- sirens. Confirmation (military) of war.
7:00pm...British are up.
7:10pm...French are up.