I was in seventh grade and 12 years old, when my history teacher, Mrs. Saylor, paused and turned her attention away from the dirty whiteboard in a moment of realization to say that we, the cluster of restless preteens seated in front of her, had never known life without war. I’m still not sure if that statement was completely correct. I do know that she was right about the list events she subsequently rattled off to try to help us, children supposedly bombarded with unending violence on the very largest scale, understand the stuff we’d been through, the stuff we’d seen: 9/11, the Iran/Iraq War, ongoing military aggressions with Afghanistan, a hard-hitting recession, the Boston Marathon Bombing, constantly-stacking murders by our police force, Sandy Hook Elementary and so many shootings since that it’s far past the point of pathos to try to name them all. It was a lot. I almost hadn’t noticed.