In elementary school in the 1940s, we were told to get under our desks and cover our heads in the event of an atomic bomb blast. As a 9-year-old in 1950, I was terrified when my daddy went to war in North Korea, pressing back against the North Koreans, China and Russia. In my high school years, the Russian dictator Nikita Khrushchev bragged to our parents that Russians will “bury your grandchildren.”
In the early 1960s, I feared for the safety of my family and the United States because of the potential of an atomic war with Russia over the Bay of Pigs debacle in Cuba. Later in the 1960s I lived in Las Vegas and had a terrifying firsthand insight into nuclear testing at the Nevada Test Site. A few dozen years rolled by with a sense of tentative security because the “Cold War” was in place.
Then 9-11 occurred! As our country was thrust into an illegal war with unsubstantiated threats of “weapons of mass destruction,” I once again lived in an underlying state of anxiety.
Prior to leaving office, President Barack Obama’s administration warned the successive administration about North Korea’s aggressive attempts at nuclear escalation. No one was interested.
And now, with these most recent North Korean events, I am again in a fearful state of mind. The world watches while two playground bullies throw insults and posture with threats and world-ending weaponry — now placing my parent’s great-grandchildren in certain harm’s way.
Gale Singley Laird