DR. E. FAYE WILLIAMS

(TriceEdneyWire.com)—Among other non-academic activities in our contemporary society, all public school children are introduced to vital, emergency life saving drills.  Fire drills, lock-down drills, shelter-in-place drills and tornado drills are all common to our students, and welcomed by parents and concerned family members.  If asked, most students can easily explain the purpose and intricacies of assuming the “duck and tuck” position.  First, one locates a position away from glass and loose debris that can be dangerously propelled by high winds. Next, facing a wall or other solid, protective edifice, one assumes a vertical fetal position with his/her head lowered as far as possible between his/her knees.  The “duck and tuck” position is employed in every public school tornado drill.

Although now used almost exclusively for tornadoes, I’m old enough to remember when the primary purpose of the “duck and tuck” was as a drill for students to prepare for nuclear attack. Then, the world had fresh recollections of the destruction and devastation of such attacks.  Hiroshima and Nagasaki were not just historic events. I have been both places and memory of the horrors are still real. I can appreciate the serious and solemn approach world leaders, specifically American leaders, took in navigating through world events with the goal of maintaining peace.  Even Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer, principle physicist in developing the atomic bomb, understood the monster he unleashed upon humanity.  With clarity of thought he stated, “Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.” A Youtube video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ZhjpHYjZpc&t=600s), was recommended to me as a stark refresher of what a nuclear war could mean.  I shudder to think that this depiction could have an element of truth, yet I believe that in reality our fate would be far worse.

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