So a prevailing theme of the trip has been the horror of world events. In the three weeks since we left Colorado, there have been attacks in Dallas and Baton Rouge and, here in Europe, in Nice, Bavaria and most recently, Munich. There was also news of the attempted coup in Turkey and, of course, war and bombings continue throughout the Middle East and in Kabul.
We have received emails from a number of people asking if we are worried about our travels. We are periodically concerned, but worried? Should we not go to Berlin because of terror in Munich? Should we stay away from Brussels or Amsterdam or London?
Of course, the answer is no. There is trauma around the globe, but we cannot change our lives and bend in the face of the fear that has been fomented. To cancel a trip to Germany because of these events would be like me saying I will not go to Dallas for Sunday Night Football because of what has happened there.
Having said that, there have clearly been signs throughout our journey in Italy that things are on higher alert. A sign of the times, though they have been there for a long while, are the checkpoints at the front of Vatican Square. As I ran by St. Peter’s one morning last week, I could see soldiers and security out in front getting ready to check people as they passed. And in Trieste, there were armed military guards on the dock in front of the giant cruise ships checking everyone who came and went.
This is just the way it is these days. We shall be vigilant, but unbending.