Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Not to be taken lightly

Last night was rather exciting around our house. The weather was nice so we decided to grill for dinner. As Mike was coming and going, in and out of the house, Jonah and I started hearing sirens. This is not unusual. In fact what would be unusual is if we didn't hear any sirens during the day or night. They have become something that I rarely hear anymore. Jonah, on the other hand, will race to the kitchen window to see what kind of vehicle is driving by...every single time we hear a siren. He gets so excited to see them. It's almost a game to him I think. It's hard for him to think that there might be somebody who is hurt inside the ambulance, or that there is a fire that the firetruck is going to. He just sees lights and a fast truck and he's giddy. So last night was really quite extraordinary to say the least. And I say that with all respect to those who keep us safe here in Baltimore. I was cutting up some veggies to put on the grill when it began. Jonah raced into the kitchen when he heard the first siren. Then he ran back out to the living room where he was watching a baseball game. Not a minute later, there was a group of sirens headed our way. In this grouping were several cop cars. Another minute passed and still more sirens were heard. Jonah was in and out of the kitchen just as fast as these cars raced by our house. This spectacular show lasted for nearly ten minutes...and it seemed that with each minute, there were more cop cars, more ambulances, firetrucks, helicopters, armor trucks, you name it, and they passed by our house. I decided that I would try to count the trucks that passed by after the first ten minutes went by. Of course we had no idea what was going on, where it was happening, and the rest of the logistics. I could tell from the beginning that it was probably something very serious. I had never seen that many rescue, cop, and firetrucks zoom by as I did last night. After a slight pause in the action, it began again. This time the trucks were all moving in the opposite direction (towards the hospital.) At that point I realized that someone was hurt and I figured it was somebody in uniform, given all the activity that took place (we probably saw nearly 40-50 cars, vans, armored vehicles, firetrucks, ambulances...all within this time period). We were itching to learn what was going on because the helicopters were right above our house, hovering. I finally was able to see what happened online. Two female police officers were driving in a car, only blocks from our house, when someone opened fire on them. The driver was shot in the arm and the other officer was shot through the abdomen. From what I hear they are both fine but will be needing more surgery. (To see the complete story, click here and check out the video footage.) Pretty crazy, right? I was really starting to feel more comfortable in the city, especially the place where we live but this brings things back into perspective. I can not allow myself at any point to feel safe in my city, my neighborhood, and my home, because this is part of city life. No wonder why I've been keeping my kids inside lately. It's not the humidity, it's not that I'm lazy, it's because I fear for their safety - and mine. As I was trying to figure out what happened last night I came across something else quite scary. This truly makes me afraid. I will be more than happy to walk away from this part of life without any hesitation in less than a year.

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