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Saturday, December 15, 2012

Another Senseless Tragedy

Dear readers, I am deeply sorry for the the delay in my posting about Montford Point Marines. My eighty nine year old father, a prostrate cancer survivor, had some complications along with  pneumonia and was hospitalized. He will be home today. Semper Fi, dad.

 I was also troubled by the senseless and horrific carnage of twenty children and seven adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. The massacre is considered the worst in US History and weighed heavily on my mind, as I used to be an elementary school teacher in my home state.

                                                           Source: Newtown Bee, CT Post

Post Columbine and especially after 9/11, schools were mandated to practice lock down procedures in order to  prepare for emergencies. Teachers were giving code names and if something "went down", we were alerted over the intercom. Doors had to be locked, lights out, and children were to huddle under desks, silently. There would always be a student who would giggle and not take it seriously, and I would quickly reprimand the student for being silly.

School children in previous decades had drills during wartime, and schools were designated as fallout shelters in the event of an atomic bomb. Some of you  might remember the bright yellow and black signs. Additionally, the President of the Soviet Union, Nikita Khrushchev in 1962  installed nuclear missiles ninety miles away in Cuba, an ally of the former U.S.S.R. (Now called Russia). President John F. Kennedy and Cabinet members had some intense negotiations with Soviet leaders for thirteen days and the missiles were removed. The American Public had been informed that military action would be taken if the missiles were not removed. It was a very scary crisis that was fortunately avoided.

                                                         Department of Defense, Circa 1961

Mall shootings. Movie Theater killings.Virginia Tech massacre. We live in a world where we have to be vigilant. It is imperative to  appreciate your children, loved ones, first responders, soldiers, teachers, parents, social workers, clergy, etc. and realize that violence can happen in a small peaceful town in New England, in the early hours of a naval base in Hawaii, and in the financial district of of a major world city.

How do you make sense of all this?

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