LISTEN TO HOLLY'S DIARY
MARCH 28, 2003 · Holly, 26, is a journalism student in New York City. Her brother is serving in the Middle East. She's not using her last name because she doesn't want to jeopardize her brother's position or violate his privacy. She says her brother is doing the kind of work that puts him in a lot of danger. To stay connected to him, Holly stays tethered to the TV news. She says her loyalty to him has brought some sudden changes in her life. This is her War Diary.
I've been vacillating politically throughout the preamble to the war, but the moment the bombs started dropping, the only thing -- the only thing -- that mattered was my brother's safety. That trumped every other kind of ideological belief that I may have ever had. This doesn't mean that I don't feel pain for anyone on the other side. But the peace protests, for the families of soldiers, it feels like a slap in the face.
"It's one thing to have political beliefs. It's another thing to let them interfere with what matters most, which is, at this point, life, compassion."
My friendships are being affected by the war... and I understand why. I think my friends who are, by and large, on the left, see me at this point as being just to the right of Genghis Khan.
I have three very close friends: one lives in Montreal, one lives in San Francisco and one lives here. The one who lives here, she has been very honest with me and has not been judgmental. My friend in Montreal is open to seeing more than one side. My friend in San Francisco, however, has not called at all. She knows that my brother's there. She's known me for 10 years and she knows how I feel about him. And there hasn't even been an e-mail saying, "I hope he's OK."
It's one thing to have political beliefs. It's another thing to let them interfere with what matters most, which is, at this point, life, compassion. And so, I do, I hold it against my friend. She needs to respect the fact that, no matter why my brother's over there, he's over there. And if that person can't do that, then that person is not my friend.
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