I didn’t realize I was in Northern Ireland until I took out my phone. The top left corner where writes my carrier has a small “UK” sign added to it. We were standing on the other side of the divided land, where the Troubles hasn`t gone far enough to relieve the citizens from the pain. On the bus, I thought, this may be the closest I can get to a war.
What I can never forget was a wall, a huge thick concrete wall in Belfast that separates two religions in the city: Catholics and Protestants. They are also referred to as Nationalists and Unionists; they considered themselves Irish and British, respectively. Yet the picture of the wall is still haunting me. Why do things like this still exists? Isn’t it uncivilized? To live in peace, the government needs a wall to keep the two sides from being too close to avoid conflicts, and at the same time, it keeps them from interacting with, understanding, and forgiving each other. When a child is growing up all the way at one side of the wall, wouldn’t he unconsciously reckon the other side as a different world and not communicable every time he see this giant concrete object? And the wall which is like a mountain to a child`s eyes, wouldn’t he think it unbreakable?
But then I saw the drawings and signs on it, the miracle. There are sentences in every language; the ones who leave their notes are ordinary people, they may not use fancy words, yet the work they`ve done stroke me on site. It`s the world`s wishes. People from every corner of the world are shouting at that concrete monster in silence: “Peace! Peace!!” How could anybody ignore?
When the people who has actually been through this war standing in front of me, telling his stories, I realize that war is never far from us. But it is the worst thing one can ever experience. No one is safe. The winning side and the losing side—nobody wins when they both suffered. Even when you`re sleeping under your own roof, you will be afraid that a bomb may explode at your doorstep. It`s a physical and mental torture. China was in civil war decades ago. And it has been in chaos, when trust has fallen apart, and the only way they survive is to follow the rules and make the “emperor” happy. That is also something I don`t dare to imagine. Maybe that`s why the world wants peace. Because the ones who have been through wars will never wants them again. And in 20 years, I hope the walls standing in Belfast will fall like the Berlin wall.