The siren went off every five to 10 minutes. It meant only one thing: a rocket was about to fly over Sam Friedman's head. He was on his eighth month in the heart of Israel, away from Chesterfield.
"What's dangerous is that the rockets don't blow up, they break up, but the shells fall down on Israel," Friedman said.
Friedman spoke with NewsChannel 5 via Skype a few hours after Israel sent its military to attack Hamas forces in the Gaza Strip. He sent the station a selfie he took in a bomb shelter. It was his first time there. Friedman said he saw a mother and two children dodging the bullets too.
"There were tables and a carpet. The little boy picked up cards while the little girl was cheering. It's not normal for kids to grow up being natural in a shelter, it makes the situation real," he said.
It's real for St. Louisan Nasir Al Masri, too.
"There is a cutoff of electricity, so being able to hear from them, we don't know," he said.
Al Masri, a Palestinian-American, has extended family and a very close friend in Gaza.
"That is so scary to me, that I get a call tomorrow, that she didn't make it," he said.
Al Masri showed us the Facebook pictures his friend posted.
"There's shrapnel in the yard, a little child looks like he's playing," he said.
Al Masri said he worries the casualties aren't going to the buildings, they could be children.
"I pray for them that they are safe," he said. Safety is secondary to rockets and sirens.
The Palestinian community in St. Louis will rally on Sunday to support the people in Gaza, you can find info on their Facebook page.