Wars, Terrorist Attacks, and Major Disasters

There have been wars throughout the history of mankind with one group attempting to take over an area from another group.  Wars affect the people who survive as well as doing a tremendous amount of damage to the landscape.  In this book, I have provided an overview of some of the major acts of destruction that have occurred in the 20th and 21st centuries. The book begins with World War I and my grandfather’s part in it, and continues with World War II and my mother’s experiences in England during it.  The situation in Ireland escalated for many decades in the twentieth century with some wanting to make all Ireland free from Great Britain although the majority of those in Northern Ireland wanted to stay with the United Kingdom.  The Korean and Vietnam Wars caused lots of bloodshed and destruction to the land in those countries.  Berlin became divided between the east and west and a solid wall was built between the two areas which kept people from leaving East Berlin from 1961 to 1990 when the wall began to come down and free travel was permitted once again. President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963.  Problems arose in the Suez Canal area from 1956 onwards, and the Middle East erupted with the Yom Kippur War in 1973 with fighting for control of the area continuing to this day.  There have been many incidents of shootings at schools around the world and I have provided a brief description of a small number of them.  Cuba has been a hotbed of trouble for the United States with their fear of the spread of communism and their thwarted attempts to take control of the island nation.  The Chernobyl Nuclear disaster in 1986 caused much environmental damage to the area and the people in the surrounding area were displaced from their homes and are still unable to return for any of their belongings.  Jumbo jet crashes due to pilot error were an interesting topic to research, while ditching of planes in the water where many have been rescued showed quick thinking on the part of the pilots.  Tiananmen Square in Peking is discussed and analyzed, as well as Nelson Mandela and his work to end apartheid in South Africa and give rights to the vast majority of blacks living in the country.  A snapshot is provided of the Kuwait Gulf War as well as war in Afghanistan and Iraq.  The Siege of Sarajevo was brought to light in the book I read, “The Cellist of Sarajevo” by Steven Galloway.  The Oklahoma City bombings, 9/11 Twin Towers terrorist attacks, and London, England bombings are discussed.  A senator is shot down, the Boston Marathon ends with destruction of lives when bombs are detonated near the finish line, a garment factory collapses in Bangladesh killing about a thousand workers, and a man from our area, Tim Bosma from Ancaster is kidnapped.  Good news is scattered amongst the agony when we hear of the release of three young women who had been kidnapped ten years ago in Ohio; this brings to mind the book, “A Stolen Life” by Jaycee Dugard who was kidnapped at age 11, kept for 18 years before she was freed, having given birth to two daughters by the kidnapper, the first one at age 14.  Wars, terrorist attacks and major disasters continue to be present in our world.  What really counts is our response and reaction to them.  We can live in fear of what might happen, or we can take each day as it comes and make the best of whatever presents itself.