Another Crisis

I was three years old at the time of the Cuban missile crisis. With no memory of events in October of 1962, all I can go on is   what my mother told me. She remembers going into our orchard,searching for my father to tell him they had to go into town and buy canned milk for the children. She was terrified, fully expecting the world as she knew it to end.Throughout the sixties threat of nuclear annihilation weighed heavily on my mind. Straining to catch snippets of adult conversation, listening to news reports I didn’t fully understand, my only solace the root cellar. Convincing myself our root cellar was safe haven, allowed me to keep dread at bay.

Dread faded over the years; the cold war becoming a chapter in history rather than an ever present threat. Shocked, saddened, outraged, horrified, and speechless describe emotions related to events since then. But no dread, at least not until now.

That dreadful feeling is stirring again. The situation in North Korea has rekindled fears long ago dismissed as childish anxiety. Dread has taken it’s time germinating, the seed was planted four or five years ago when I watched a clip of the North Korean army marching in perfect unison. I told my husband that it scared the pants off me. Dread can be tricky, it’s hard to pinpoint, creeping about just out of reach as it grows stronger. I haven’t felt it in years and wish I had a root cellar to push it away.

4 thoughts on “Another Crisis

  1. I remember the tension and my parents whispering. I knew something was up and that it had something to do with the American President and something called Cuba.

  2. If you were three in ’62 that makes me 10 yrs older than you. And by contrast I remember the death of President Kennedy like a flash of lightning but the threat of nuclear annihilation went clear over my head and I can’t say I have any reaction to it at all — except in retrospect when I look at how nuclear paranoia affected music, art, advertising, society in general. So much depends upon the point in time and society from which we view world events.

    I find it impossible to fathom what N Korean leadership are about in all of this. Like the Cuban Missile Crisis small players on the global stage can move the whole world closer or further from catastrophe. But one wonders if small nation bravado is spawned solely within the nation or prodded and pushed into the line of fire by bigger powers? It was Russian missiles that caused the Cuban crisis. What forces are at play in N. Korea I have no idea? What N. Korea hopes to achieve by all their bluster makes no sense — unless of course they want a war so the U.S. will give them all sorts of money like we did to Germany after WWII — dictators have done more foolish things than kill off a major part of their own population.

    I wonder to my self — If I were living in a country as impoverished for the average inhabitant as N. Korea is — whether pride in country would loom higher on my value system than it does now when I live in the U.S. — a country on the surface much more prosperous but paralyzed by public opinion.

    Such a young ruler has little experience, but a lot of older advisors. But then it’s almost always that it’s OLD men who send YOUNG men to battle…..

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    • You’re 10 years older than me yet nuclear annihilation didn’t cause you to loose sleep. It’s so interesting what people remember.

      Equally interesting is your comment that Russian missiles caused the Cuban Crisis. I need to bone up on the subject, but my understanding was American missiles in Turkey escalated the crisis, ending it with the withdrawal of those Turkish missiles. Cuba was simply the playground.

      • My comment about the missiles in Cuba was the point of view that the American public heard in all the media. You could count on one hand the number of references to any previous action by the U.S. might have caused our reaction to Cuba.

        Moreso now than then, crises feed on what they are fed. And the U.S. public was fed Russian interference in the Western Hemisphere. That was seen as being to U.S. best interest regardless what we may have instigated in other locations. And instigate a lot we did. And do. In our own day it was Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq.

        TODAY the power of media to make or break situations has advanced exponentially. All those hours of air time to be filled, media moguls are only too happy to jump on any bandwagon they are offered if it gets them readers/listeners.

        Which is why I said what I did about your post on trees. Here in the U.S. crises are made and forgotten hourly. Assessing how much is hype, how much is knowledge, and how much is assumption or opinion isn’t so easy.

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