Back in the 1960s when I was in elementary school the world was in the middle of the COLD WAR. Russia, then called the Soviet Union or USSR was the enemy. Along with the usual tornado drills to duck and cover we also had drills for what to do in the event of a nuclear bomb. For that drill, we got under our desks until given the all clear. Now to me there wasn’t much difference in the tornado drill other than we lined up against the wall with our butts in the air and our heads down. Looking back this was totally useless since our classrooms were built with the north wall all glass half way down and the south wall where our open wooden lockers were was another wall of glass above them. Good thing we never had a tornado during school hours or we would have been shredded by flying glass regardless where we did the duck and cover thing.
I was deathly afraid of storms, but the whole possibility of planes from Russia flying over my town dropping bombs didn’t scare me nearly as much for some reason … except … at night. I hardly slept in those days because I was terrified of the Russians. I imagined hearing the drone of planes flying overhead and just waited for the bombs to start falling. Most of us kids were terrified then because we didn’t know anything or know what to expect. Our parents and other adults spoke in hushed whispers all the time. There were no conversations but now I am sure they were more afraid than all of us kids.
JFK was president and averted war with Cuba during the Missile Crisis … after that we all seemed to breathe a sigh of relief and we no longer had bomb drills at school. I started to sleep and not be afraid of every plane I heard overhead. Then the next year almost to the day, our president was murdered of all places in my own state. My world crashed on that day … and all the fear I had ever felt came rushing back.
Children are for the most part resilient, but they are scared of world events more than adults realize and should be given the time to talk about those fears. Today, five days after the 2016 election that stunned the world with it’s results, our children have more to fear than I ever did. They are afraid to go to school if they are of certain ethnic backgrounds. They are afraid someone will come and get them and they will never see their family again. They are afraid that their parents will be taken and no one will be home when they return from school.
Little girls have been cornered at their schools and had boys they have known all their life sexually harass and assault them. Hate crimes to many to count have been levied on Muslims … African Americans … in reality anyone who is different … anyone who is not white, Christian and straight. There is genuine fear … a fear I never experienced as a child. I have no answers … but I relate to all the fear and hate in a way I never thought would be seen, expressed, and experienced again in my country … this is America and we don’t behave like this.
Copyright © 2016 Annie Commentary
Always…I wish you peace, joy and happiness, but most of all I wish you Love.
As Ever, Annie
*Note: Many of our freedoms and liberties are at risk right now. As a writer and the Senior Editor of an online magazine what I fear now as an adult is my 1st Amendment Right of free speech. Too many writers, poets, and bloggers all over the world have been jailed … even murdered for their writing. What has this world come to?