In 1972 I went to Yugoslavia and stayed with a family in Vrsac, where there was a glider contest going on. The family lent me a bike, and I could walk to the aiport to see the show. The opening ceremonies included acrobatic flying and a Mig jet that strafed the field trying to hit a junk glider fuselage at one end. Most of the shots missed, and when it was over, 10,000 fans swarmed out to pick up the hot shrapnel.
We shuddered at the noise, and I understand what a war would sound like now.
Later, a friend rented a car and we drove to Novi Sad and tasted homemade wine and firey hot green peppers and sausage.
I was sad to see that the later war against the ethnic groups resulted in the bombed out bridge that led over the river to Novi Sad. The buildings that we saw in Dubrovnik were also damaged in that aerial war, and I never have wanted to return even after the country broke up and became a tourist destination.
I loved the friendly people there and had the opportunity to fly an acrobatic plane on a test hop to check out the new radios. How could a country that had such friendly people and great food and wine turn into raging savages against their neighbors?
Well, I should not be so surprised at anything now, as the fight in Syria goes on with no concern for the populace.
My problem is to avoid the crazy war zones, and remember the good things, like wine and hot sausages.