When I was around nineteen years old, my mother took me back to her homeland, Germany. She hadn’t seen her country since the end of World War II and left seeing twisted train tracks, bombed out buildings, and people struggling. By the time we went back over 20 years after the war, she was amazed to see how Munich had prospered and rebuilt its city. That first visit sold me for life. I traveled a lot when I was single and working. In fact, I practically worked just to save up the money to go traveling for a month every year. Munich was always a stop no matter where I was traveling. I had family there and I knew the subway and train system like the back of my hand and saw everything I could. You could plunk me down in the middle of Munich and I would know where I was! No matter where else I planned to go on my trips, Munich always rated a week on my itineraries. My last trip was the year after I got married as I wanted to show off my new husband to my Godmother and show him Munich.
Seven years ago, I saved up money, used coupons to cut expenses and managed to book a trip to Europe for myself and my youngest son who had just turned 18 and finished high school. He had never been overseas so it was an exciting time of anticipation. Although we booked a tour of the Battlefields of World War II in deference to his interests, I tacked on over a week for being on our own . . . in Munich. Although we were more vigilant than past trips had required, we had a great time and came home with so many shared memories.
Today, it hit home that the Munich I had known might not be a place to visit anymore. I was in Munich when they had the Olympic shootings. What is going on today seems even more aggressive and sad . . . and ongoing in our world. These sort of events take away the joy and innocence of life. Even as politicians condone the import of untold refugees, the outcome of such a practice hasn’t been beneficial to the people who have to live through the result of such policies.
First of all, I’m so very sad to see and hear about the attacks on one of the nicest, most beautiful cities in Europe. I’m appalled at the political games that brought such events into reality. I’m sad that I will probably never be able to walk through those streets and plazas and share them with someone ever again. Today could be a traumatic change for Germany. You lose a lot when you no longer have peace of mind and sense of safety.