Boundaries shift - Haifa now in Lebanon?

Courtesy of the Harmsen Family: Wanda, Debra and Jack Harmsen earlier this spring before Debra boarded the Navy Ship Iwo Jima, now off the coast of Lebanon

Falmouth Family Awaits Safe Exit From Lebanon

As for the Harmsens, they are concerned and a bit nervous about their daughter’s safety, though the fact that she is on an enormous Navy ship is a comfort.

Ms. Harmsen teaches fifth grade at Morse Pond School and Mr. Harmsen is a counselor at the Gomes School in New Bedford.

Petty Officer Debora Harmsen, 23, is an electronics technician third class serving on the Navy vessel, USS Iwo Jima. Having grown up in Buzzards Bay, she graduated from Tabor Academy in 2001 and joined the Navy in 2003. This is her first deployment.

The Iwo Jima carries 4,700 personnel and several helicopters.

The Harmsens have been watching on CNN this week as the massive boat makes its way to the coast of Lebanon. That’s the only way they knew where their daughter was, since she is not allowed to reveal her location. They last heard from her in an e-mail on July 13, the day the violence started.

“We’re not losing sleep at night, but as soon as we get up in the morning, we turn on CNN,” Mr. Harmsen said. “We feel badly for the innocent civilians on both sides.”

{josquote}...they are members of the Baha’i faith, which has its seat in Haifa, Lebanon{/josquote}

The Harmsens are also following the developments in Lebanon because they are members of the Baha’i faith, which has its seat in Haifa, Lebanon. The Harmsen family has been to Haifa twice on pilgrimage.

The bombing of the country hits them close to their hearts. “It reminds me a little bit of 9/11 for me personally,” Ms. Harmsen said.

Full story...