A helicopter just went by the cloudy DC airspace, and I didn't fear it. I didn't wonder what nefarious mission it might be accomplishing. I didn't wonder about the emptiness in the sky or about the sirens of the fire truck that went by a little earlier.
But this morning, taking a walk, I saw the flags at half-mast and I noticed the din was less dinny. The city is a little less vibrant, having chosen to pull out the grays for this seventh anniversary.
In the vein of the seven-year itch –or the belief that a monogamous relationship can become stagnant and foster straying after seven years– and of that oft-cited urban legend about every cell in your body being replaced after seven years (which makes some sense until you realize that neurons aren't really replaced), perhaps we as a country are going through some sort of seven-year itch.
A seven-year itch in which we seem to be forgetting the raw pain and the horror and the feelings of true unity. In which we're forgetting that everyday people were heroes and victims and fearless leaders.
In which we forget the fact that war is not an alien intangibility, but a daily reality: one that is fought every day by those of us who are part of the armed forces, and by emergency personnel of all kinds.
The war is now within, as we become complacent and jaded and think we're safe once again.