Echoes

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Have you ever thought about echoes and reflections? Echoes are reflection of sound from off a solid object, like the side of a building or a mountain cliff.  Every child delights in echoes and tries fervently to produce them whenever they can.

Reflections are very similar, except rather than being sound waves bouncing off objects, they are light waves bouncing off a surface that is reflective.  As I was thinking about this, I thought that perhaps it would be fair to say that echoes and reflections are the same thing, or at least not that very different.

When I shot today’s picture of a swing on the far side of the lake, I liked it because of the reflection in the water and intrigued by the early morning lighting that made part of the tree very dark and the upper part brighter.  I like reflections. But then, as I kid, I liked echoes, too!

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY:  in 1991, after six weeks of intensive bombing against Iraq and its armed forces, U.S.-led coalition forces launch a ground invasion of Kuwait and Iraq.

On August 2, 1990, Iraq invaded Kuwait, its tiny oil-rich neighbor, and within hours had occupied most strategic positions in the country. One week later, Operation Shield, the American defense of Saudi Arabia, began as U.S. forces massed in the Persian Gulf. Three months later, the United Nations Security Council passed a resolution authorizing the use of force against Iraq if it failed to withdraw from Kuwait by January 15, 1991.

At 4:30 p.m. EST on January 16, 1991, Operation Desert Storm, a massive U.S.-led offensive against Iraq, began as the first fighter aircraft were launched from Saudi Arabia and off U.S. and British aircraft carriers in the Persian Gulf. All evening, aircraft from the U.S.-led military coalition pounded targets in and around Baghdad as the world watched the events transpire in television footage transmitted live via satellite from Baghdad and elsewhere.

Operation Desert Storm was conducted by an international coalition under the command of U.S. General Norman Schwarzkopf and featured forces from 32 nations, including Britain, Egypt, France, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait. During the next six weeks, the allied force engaged in a massive air war against Iraq’s military and civil infrastructure, encountering little effective resistance from the Iraqi air force. Iraqi ground forces were also helpless during this stage of the war, and Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein’s only significant retaliatory measure was the launching of SCUD missile attacks against Israel and Saudi Arabia. Saddam hoped that the missile attacks would provoke Israel, and thus other Arab nations, to enter the conflict; however, at the request of the US, Israel remained out of the war.

On February 24, a massive coalition ground offensive began, and Iraq’s outdated and poorly supplied armed forces were rapidly overwhelmed. By the end of the day, the Iraqi army had effectively folded, 10,000 of its troops were held as prisoners, and a U.S. air base had been established deep inside Iraq. After less than four days, Kuwait was liberated, and a majority of Iraq’s armed forces had either been destroyed or had surrendered or retreated to Iraq. On February 28, U.S. President George Bush declared a cease-fire, and Iraq pledged to honor future coalition and U.N. peace terms. One hundred and twenty-five American soldiers were killed in the Persian Gulf War, with another 21 regarded as missing in action.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY:  In Kansas, when two trains meet at a crossing, “both shall come to full stop and neither shall start up again until the other has gone.”  (Galen: What can I say about this?  It’s KANSAS!)

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