Monday, March 9, 2009

A Fragile Peace


I was in Northern Ireland a year ago. Victoria Square had just opened in Belfast. It's an open-air mall covered by a domed glass roof. From my point of view, it was beautiful and functional. Some older men I was talking to in a pub had something different to say about it, "it's just too tempting." It was a sign of prosperity and peace that something with that much glass was built in a city so used to bombings.

Yesterday, two British soldiers were killed northwest of Belfast. It's the first deadly attack on the British since before the Good Friday peace agreement. Both sides of the coalition government have denounced the attack.

Last year, N. Ireland was experiencing great prosperity. The consequences of peace were clearly visible. And there was hope. The US primaries were happening. The men at the pub also said, "if Obama, a black man, can become president of the United States, maybe there's hope for us here."

I'm hoping they're right.

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