I think it’s time to start nuclear drills in schools again. It’s time to start designating church basements, and public buildings which are well built with the signs “fallout” shelters.
You see, back when my generation was in elementary school, we had to do those drills. The teachers would make us get down under our desks, after taking everything off the top, and cover our heads. This was to minimize damage to our bodies from any shocks from nuclear explosions that might occur in our tri-state area.
All of us kids were well aware of the dangers of nuclear fallout, because we were given handouts published by the government on what to do in case of nuclear war breaking out between the United States and Russia. We were frightened by the drills, by the handouts, by the Civil Defense designation or shelters, by the nightly news given to us by Huntley and Brinkley, or Cronkite. Nuclear war was a real possibility then.
Since those days, it has become an abstract idea…until recently.
Now, our country is in deep conflict with several others over nuclear weapons. The rhetoric is extreme, and I believe we may be at the “1961” level of danger for a nuclear holocaust.
So, I believe we should start those programs again from the 60’s. Let’s have the children come home afraid, and suffer the same trauma we had to. Let’s have the parents see the fallout shelter signs go up again. Let’s have the TV stations run more emergency broadcast tests, once a day like they used to. Let’s do all of this and more, to make the possibility and the outcomes of nuclear war very specific, so that today’s generation gets a dose of what the “1961” generation got.
Maybe then we wouldn’t want our leaders promoting wiping other countries from the face of the earth. Maybe we could learn the value of negotiation again. Maybe if people realize that nuclear war is not just an abstract idea, but instead a blatant reality, the whole world might be wise enough to go another 56 years before we have to go through this kind of trauma again. Maybe our people can become wise enough to elect wiser leaders.
Everything you know and love changes if the bombs start to fall. There will never be another “normal” day.
We must find another way to solve the problems of nuclear weapons if we wish to continue to exist, but I’m afraid people just aren’t that afraid of it occurring as we used to be. Either that, or they’re just a lot better at ignoring it.
I still think about how I felt up under that school desk back in the sixth grade. I really don’t want that kind of feeling for my grandchildren. I want them to have a normal, wonderful life….like the one I have had. I’m not at all concerned about what happens to me now. It’s the little ones I’m worried about. With the rhetoric that goes on on “social” media, many days I have to what I did today and just stay away from it, and the “news” too. But, in the back of your mind, you know it’s still going on, and you are just not hearing it. So, you go back to listening and reading.
Perhaps tomorrow things will be brighter. Today has been just a little dark though.