Posted BY: Don Ruthig
Those of us of a certain age remember well the Cuban missile crisis. I was a student at Toaz Jr. High on Long Island, a fortress of a school built in 1939 from WPA funding.
I remember vividly the assembly in the auditorium when we were told the Russians were putting nuclear missiles in Cuba that could reach major East Coast cities in minutes. Being a mere 30 miles from New York, a possible target, we were terrified at the prospect of a nuclear holocaust capable of wiping us out.
We had air raid drills where we were told to shelter under our desks as if that would provide any protection (put your head between your legs…you know the rest). We were escorted into the bowels of the building, where there was a concrete tunnel we could use for an air raid shelter, complete with barrels of survival supplies with the nuclear symbol stenciled on them. Some of our neighbors even built their own fallout shelters in their basements.
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This was a lot for a 13-year-old’s mind to process. What is going on now with Ukraine is a lot for a 73-year-old’s mind to process.