Memories… past events that tell the history of a person; this makes him or her unique from other people. Memories, if I think about it, I guess I do not have much of that. It is just the way it is for me. It is like my memories are easily removed from my mind so that not much of my history is left. However, despite this, there was this one night a long time ago that I would never forget.
I believe it was in the year 1992, though my mind tells me that it is not sure whether it really was. Do you know the feeling of knowing the period in your life when an event happened, yet, at the same time, you are not sure of the time details? I think this is a great example for that. Somewhere in my brain, there is sureness that the event happened during my 5th or 6th year of life. The setting was Saudi Arabia, my homeland, and it was before the beginning of the Desert Storm.
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Just like every other siblings, my sister and I love staying up late. During that night we planned to stay up all night to chit-chat and play. We planned to do the stuff normal girls enjoy. The night was beautiful and ideal for that. Children would have loved to enjoy that night, of course, without knowing the following events to happen.
There were clear skies. As we lay in bed, there was a sudden flash of light coming from the window. It was really bright! The first thing that came into my mind was to know the source of the light. Without further thinking, I went out to see what that was, and there came what seemed to be the source… it was an explosion. I saw a big explosion in the mid-air.
My mind went haywire. As young as I was back then, I may say that I was really vulnerable and fragile. For a moment, I could not move and I was shocked at the huge explosion right in front of my eyes. Now that I think of it, I would surely say that it was no laughing matter, and it was completely nothing like what my sister and I had intended to do that night.
The explosion that I saw was the second one and I was afraid of the next. I just knew that there was another one coming, and I was right. Ten seconds later, as I stayed to watch what happened next, there was a flying object coming from the same direction! In my mind, I was like saying, “Oh no! It might hit us!” and then, I saw something that flew from the ground, and it hit that flying object.
It exploded! A clash! Voila! Another explosion right before my own eyes! The events were too much to handle. I was so young to see the bad things of the world.
My body was pumped with adrenaline as I witnessed the event. I panicked and I was so afraid that all I can think of was to run to my parents’ room. When I reached their room, I saw my father trying to calm my mother. My father was from the military.
He gave my mother directions on what to do. He said to her, “You should take the kids and go with your family out of the city.” Why did he tell her that? Why did we have to leave? My mind was full of questions but at the same time all I can do is follow. Afterwards, my father received a phone call from the military base. My father’s reaction was to wear his military uniform, say goodbye to us and leave.
My mind, as young as it was, cannot fully understand the happenings that night. However, as the years passed, I learned that that moment was the beginning of the desert storm. It was also only after a while when I learned about the anti-missile system that was used to protect Saudi Arabia was the same thing that protected the people in our place from the ballistic missile heading near our home.
The United States provided antiballistic defense during those times to protect the kingdom during the Gulf War. (ARCENT Saudi Arabia (ARCENT-SA) ) Without the protection, who knows what may have happened. I am very thankful that what I witnessed was a series of mid-air explosions instead of ground ones or else wide-ranged death may be my story here.
My youthful mind can be said to be not as innocent as it may be. To me, the event was a mind-opening one. It made me aware of the nature of humans and the things that they do. As I look at my young self, I may say that I have already witnessed the harshness of man-made evils that can really kill people. The missiles may not have harmed us physically, but emotionally and intellectually, there have been scars from that event. The mere thought of my father leaving for war where life is like always hanging in line is a very devastating idea for me.
People can be harmed by the technology that man builds; at the same time, it can also protect them. The event in my life that I told is a part of my history, maybe not only mine, but also of others who have seen it. Now, as I brought my story to life through my writing, it made me more aware of my life. It made me realize that around us, disasters are possible, natural or artificial. These phenomena take lives as they pass and that we must be ready. Our life on earth is just short and we must make every moment of it count.
ARCENT Saudi Arabia (ARCENT-SA) . (n.d.). Retrieved June 02, 2010, from Global Security.Org: http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/agency/army/arcent-sa.htm
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