Friday, July 25, 2014
We were living in Massachusetts when I was about eight or nine, at Westover USAF Base, when some kid stated a rumor.
Now if you were to look at a map of Massachusetts, Westover was pretty much on the left side of the state, seems like at least a hundred miles from the coast.
I don’t remember who started it, but all of a sudden us kids heard there was going to be a tidal wave. And it was headed right for us.
I know it seems kinda silly now, but we were scared to death. I remember running in the house and telling Momma, well to be honest she just kinda stared at me a minute, then told me to go back out and play, “Robbin, there’s no tidal coming.”
And because Momma’s know everything, I just forgot about it, and that was that.
Seems kinda silly doesn’t it, but you’ve got to remember when this was, the early ‘60s, and we did live on an air base.
And what might seem like a distant memory, but this was the time of the Cold War. And USAF bases were prime targets for nuclear attack if what they use to say, the balloon went up.
I remember every now and then the teachers all of a sudden yelling “Get under your desks,” supposedly if you got under your desk you would some how survive a nuclear attack. I never quite figured that one out, but grownups, they’re supposed to know.
One time we were home on leave, I have very few memories of my Grandmother, but I do remember she was kinda excitable.
Well she was watching the evening news, and all of a sudden she said something about they were gonna be here before long, when Mom asked her who, I remember her saying the Viet Cong.
Now I know that sounds crazy, if nothing else, it’s a long way from Viet Nam, but the way she was talking, I still remember thinking there were truck loads of Viet Cong headed straight to Andrews.
Still seems kinda silly, if you think about it.
Here I am in my fifties, I figured by now the world would have grown up a little.
Those of us who remember the day they tore down the Berlin Wall, it was kinda like a rush of relief, the world has finally realized we need to live in peace with one another.
I remember sitting here one afternoon about a year or so later when they announced that they had disbanded the Strategic Air Command. They were the ones who had been on alert for over 30 years, ready at a moment’s notice to take off and deliver their nuclear bombs anywhere in the world.
And they weren’t needed anymore. Imagine that, for a short time, we actually thought there wasn’t going to be war anymore!
Then came 9/11, and Iraq and Afghanistan. And our lives changed again. But this time it was on our shores, not some far away land.
And all the fears of our childhood had come to pass.
We saw terrorists behind every rock and tree. Then came the day our friends and relatives, kids we watched grow up, going off to another strange land to fight in places we couldn’t even pronounce.
Years have passed, and they are still there, but for some reason, unless it personally touches you, do you ever think about it?
Then last week came, an airliner is shot down. In a land that we probably couldn’t even find if we wanted to on a map.
Then last weekend in Iraq, they offered all the Christians three options: convert, die, or leave. And then just to make their point they burned a church that had been in continual operation for 1,600 years. Who burns a church that is that old? But I could go on and on.
A great man once said “I have a dream.”
And an even greater one said “Blessed are the peacemakers.”
My question is, when are we going to listen?
We are scaring our children.
South Strand News is pleased to offer readers the enhanced ability to comment on stories. We expect our readers to engage in lively, yet civil discourse. We do not edit user submitted statements and we cannot promise that readers will not occasionally find offensive or inaccurate comments posted in the comments area. Responsibility for the statements posted lies with the person submitting the comment, not South Strand News.