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Monday, January 17, 2011


Opening the newspaper this weekend I realized – it’s twenty years since the Gulf War.

Twenty years since we sealed our bedroom windows with heavy plastic sheets and prayed this would save us from the toxic missiles of Saddam Hussein – if he ever attacked us with them – which we prayed he wouldn’t.

Twenty year since we lined up to obtain gas masks for ourselves and our children in all the various shapes and sizes:


An adult one for me

An adult  one with extra room for a beard for hubby

Two teenage masks

Three children’s masks with special pumps to help them breathe.

One gas proof baby crib

And as though we were simply returning from a trip to the supermarket we piled this collection of reminders of death, poison and danger at the foot of our beds – to be easily available when (if) needed.

And needed they definitely were. How can I ever forget  awakening to the deafening screeches of the first air-raid at 2am , rushing around the house  pulling six terrified children into our bedroom, trying to control my shaking hands as I fastened the gas mask  straps around their head and shoulders , checking that the filter was open so they didn’t suffocate and then having to pull it off one of my 8 year old twins as she threw up inside her mask.

Twenty years . Saddam Hussein is gone but another madman has taken his place in Iran.

Twenty years – but little has changed.

Our old gas masks were collected several years ago – the newer  upgraded versions will be distributed here again soon.

And  life goes on as usual.


Rosalind Adam said...

Oh Ann, how awful that must have been for you. I hope and pray that there will never be a need to use the new gas masks. I can't help wondering why we live in such a cruel world.

Reb Mordechai said...

I went to pick up new gas masks for all the family thsi week. They no longer supply masks for men with beards.