Monday, April 12, 2010


My daughter is 21 today.

My greatgrandmother was born in 1857 with England at war in India, and turned 21 in 1877 while her homeland of Turkey was at war with Russia.

My grandmother was born in 1897, while her homeland of Turkey was at war with Greece. The anti-Christian pogroms in the aftermath led eventually to her emigration to America. She turned 21 in 1918 at the end of the Great War, and emigrated, pregnant, to America five years later.

My mother was born in 1923 in a blessed moment of peace, but turned 21 in 1944, in uniform, working for the American war machine that purportedly saved the world.

I was born in 1956, hard on the heels of the Korean conflict, and turned 21 in 1977, 100 years and countless wars after my greatgrandmother.

My daughter was born in 1989, a few weeks before the Tienanmen massacre. She turns 21 while we are at war in two countries for reasons which escape me.

So here is my birthday prayer for my daughter: May your daughter turn 21 into a world with no war.