…Where You Are

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There are some things in life that are really important to know.  For example: how much something costs and how much money you have.  Failure to know that could prove embarrassing.  Failure to know how to do math could have rather disastrous consequences, too.  Failure to know your wife’s birthday, or the date of your anniversary could be fatal!  (I think it’s rather important to know where all those missing socks go to, but I have a hard time finding people who really care about it as much as I do.)

It is important to know who you are – what you are all about, what makes you tick, what your purpose is in this grand adventure called life.  If we don’t know who we are and what our values are, we are basically adrift with no anchor in a great universe.

It is also important to know where you are.  For example, you might do certain things (like burp out loud!) at home, but not in a restaurant or church or at work.  See what I mean?

Well, it’s not hard to know where you are here in Georgia.  You see things like today’s photo all over the place.  Yep…and you thought Santa was a person.  He’s not.  He’s the Georgia bulldog!

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in was in 1992 that US Marines arrived in Mogadishu, Somalia, to spearhead a multinational force aimed at restoring order in the conflict-ridden country.

Following centuries of colonial rule by countries including Portugal, Britain and Italy, Mogadishu became the capital of an independent Somalia in 1960. Less than 10 years later, a military group led by Major General Muhammad Siad Barre seized power and declared Somalia a socialist state. A drought in the mid-1970s combined with an unsuccessful rebellion by ethnic Somalis in a neighboring province of Ethiopia to deprive many of food and shelter. By 1981, close to 2 million of the country’s inhabitants were homeless.  Though a peace accord was signed with Ethiopia in 1988, fighting increased between rival clans within Somalia, and in January 1991 Barre was forced to flee the capital. Over the next 23 months, Somalia’s civil war killed some 50,000 people; another 300,000 died of starvation as United Nations peacekeeping forces struggled in vain to restore order and provide relief amid the chaos of war.

In early December 1992, outgoing U.S. President George H.W. Bush sent the contingent of Marines to Mogadishu as part of a mission dubbed Operation Restore Hope. Backed by the U.S. troops, international aid workers were soon able to restore food distribution and other humanitarian aid operations. Sporadic violence continued, including the murder of 24 U.N. soldiers from Pakistan in 1993. As a result, the U.N. authorized the arrest of General Mohammed Farah Aidid, leader of one of the rebel clans. On October 3, 1993, during an attempt to make the arrest, rebels shot down two of the U.S. Army’s Black Hawk helicopters and killed 18 American soldiers.

As horrified TV viewers watched images of the bloodshed—-including footage of Aidid’s supporters dragging the body of one dead soldier through the streets of Mogadishu, cheering—-President Bill Clinton immediately gave the order for all American soldiers to withdraw from Somalia by March 31, 1994. Other Western nations followed suit. When the last U.N. peacekeepers left in 1995, ending a mission that had cost more than $2 billion, Mogadishu still lacked a functioning government. A ceasefire accord signed in Kenya in 2002 failed to put a stop to the violence, and though a new parliament was convened in 2004, rival factions in various regions of Somalia continue to struggle for control of the troubled nation.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY:  The Muppet Movie (1979) was cut by New Zealand Censors on grounds of gratuitous violence. Sweden banned E.T. (1982) for children under 11 because it claimed the film showed parents being hostile to their children.

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