I find this very odd. We know what’s in the minds and makeup of each person to make that judgement. I think not!
I thought back to a time when I was growing up, the 50s and 60s. Yes, it’s true, those were very trying times. It wasn’t all drive-in’s and Elvis. We had the BOMB! Problem is so did they. It was the Nuclear age. Talk of it was everywhere – movies, TV, newspapers and conversation.
There was no sure fire fix like the duct tape and plastic that Tom Ridge suggested we all have on hand after 9/11. We had it much easier, all we had to do was duck and cover. Yeah you’ve seen those silly cartoons. Public service announcements of sorts were everywhere. Bomb shelters were also very big. I’m sure they were very expensive but almost every neighborhood had a few. TV shows like the Twilight Zone scared the crap out of me as they would have some stories based on the “Last People on Earth”. There also were a fair share of movies that dealt with the subject, many with a wink.
The constant theme of the times was be afraid! Yes, be very afraid. Those were the days of sonic busting jets which routinely crashed through the sound barrier. It was so prevalent that us kids would look up into the sky as we heard a jet approach and just as a matter of course we’d cover our ears. Awesome!
School was not a sanctuary from fear. Indeed not, as when the air raid siren blew all would get under their desks. What better way to survive nuclear disaster than to duck and cover. Man we were so gullible.
Fear was the word of the day, not spoken much but it was a universal emotion. It affected each one very differently. Some would laugh out of nervousness. Some would cry. Some like me just got pissed. How dare the Russians have the bomb and why were they threatening us? The end of the world, what a concept.
As you know if you ever studied history is that we came very close to war with the Cuban missile crisis. As I mentioned, scary times indeed.
One thing I do know, while it was shared with so many people, it was very personal to each one. Believe it or not, it affected a whole generation. Some even had to have therapy from it. These kids went on to really have to fight in wars. The Red menace was everywhere. Fight them there so we don’t have to fight them here. Sounds like we’ve heard this a lot. Fear Fear Fear, the driving force of a scared people.
What the hell does this have to do with Bin Laden getting shot in the eye?
Well after 9/11, our country was in a very heightened state of fear. None of us ever experienced anything like this. These were scary guys who wanted nothing but our demise. But why? We were told because we were free, they wanted us dead. They didn’t like our way of life. Of course this was all bullshit and the real reasons for 9/11 can be debated at length, only not here and not now.
So for ten long years we’ve been talking nothing but terrorists. The boggie men are going to get us and chop off our heads.
Can you see what happened? We replaced one type of fear with another. Now it wasn’t nukes that was going to get us so much, perhaps a dirty bomb or two but for the most part, it was sharia law that we feared. Our way of life to be destroyed. Ten years and thousands of lives lost. So many people maimed, so many families decimated.
Kids who were playing with video games, or baseball, perhaps dolls, had to grow up with the fear factor. I think we forget,because a generation was skipped from fright.
Think about growing up with the talk of Bin-laden, war, hate, suicide bombs as a daily dose of reality. How it must affect the kids as they age. Many who were toddlers have grown up and went off to war. We lost an age of innocence.
This brings us to the reaction of many youth, who celebrated the death of Bin-Laden. Can you see what he represented to them? He was the symbol of a deep seated fear instilled in our children. Ten long years of the boggie man. It became very personal for each of these survivors. Yes some laughed, some hoisted a drink to freedom and some just said a prayer. Guess what? We have no right telling them how they should feel or what is appropriate.
The war of course is not over and it will never be. This is a war of ideals where no one can win. The children have to grow up with this baggage and never again will the danger go away. Maybe we had it easy growing up.