September 17, 2003

By Michael Strickland

Anything Can Happen

[Rerun day for September; this was originally posted as a New Year's message in January of 2002.]

Eleven years ago, I sat in the Combat Information Center of a U.S. aircraft carrier, searching a radar screen for any sign of hostile activity. Our warplanes were flying sorties against the Iraqis around the clock, and a tense "anything can happen" attitude weighed heavily on everyone. One of our jets had already been shot down, and standing orders required us to keep our gas masks with us at all times. The "rumor mill" pumped out doom and gloom at all hours.

Though the war ended more quickly than anyone could have guessed, and my shipmates and I arrived home to a hero's welcome, I've never forgotten that feeling of trepidation. The memory doesn't haunt me—my wartime service pales beside that of real war heroes, such as my grandfather—but it does remind me from time to time to appreciate the moment.

Last September, all Americans got a taste of what such uncertainty feels like. Terrible tragedy struck us, shook us awake in our comfortable little lives, brutally proved that, even here, "anything can happen." Now, expressions like "Happy New Year" come with a question mark.

The memory of September 11 will never fade. For some, sadly, the wounds will never heal. The world as we knew it may never "get back to normal." But hope lives on: hope that humanity can learn from this atrocity and evolve to the next stage of being. After all, "anything can happen."


©2003 Michael Strickland ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

What is "The Daily Strick"?

I have long called myself a writer, but too often I don't do what a writer must do daily: write. So you, dear reader, are the beneficiary of my resolution to make a positive change in at least one area of my life. Every single day of this new year (almost), I will write something, anything, and post it here. It is my intention to use this daily exercise to jump-start my too-long-dormant creative energies, and perhaps generate some worthwhile material this year. Hopefully you will find at least an occasional amusement or insight in my daily musings.

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September Columns:

9/29: Open Season
9/28: Runaway Train
9/27: The Seven
9/25: Dreamscape
9/24: Survivor: Sacramento
9/23: What Am I Doing at Work?
9/21: San Diego Chokers
9/20: Farewell, Galileo
9/17: Anything Can Happen
9/16: Midnight Writing
9/15: Decline and Fall
9/14: Loyalty By Default
9/13: Debt Snowball
9/12: My Cup Runneth Over
9/11: Unforgettable Day
9/10: Fall Approaches
9/9: Total Recall
9/8: Legal Illegals
9/7: 116 More Days
Previous months in The Archive

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