Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Cold War and 911

Relating my experience on 911 ten years ago over on Elizabeth Esther's blog has opened some deep places.

My children were young, home school age, boys: 12 and 11, and girls: 8, and 4.

My boys' friends came over and talked about joining the military. They were afraid that the terrorists would bomb our small town, population 2700, located over an hour away from anything that could be considered even a small city. I assured them that the terrorists were not interested in little ol' pop2700 us. That we were most likely safe.

But that moment got me thinking of when I was their age. Back then there was a different kind of war going on. It was "The Cold War". It is hard to explain to anyone who is too young to remember. Movies that could help to understand would be "The Iron Giant" and "War Games".

Back when I was in school, we were taught that the U.S. had nukes and the Soviets had nukes and that, whoever started a nuclear war, it didn't matter, we would all die, either immediately or later from radiation sickness or lack of food and water or some other complication. And it was put forth, or implied, or somehow I picked up that a nuclear strike could happen any minute. It could happen while I was at school or sleeping in my bed or playing with friends. It was something that always hung over my head.

911 was a terrorist attack that happened during a time of assumed peace. There was never a strike during that time of restrained hostility between two world powers, or The Cold War.

I would imagine that the children and young adults of 911 were traumatized worse than the children of The Cold War. 911 trauma was powerful and immediate. But those of us who grew up during The Cold War, some of us were also traumatized over the long term. And I don't know about the others, but I felt alone in my fears. I went to bed every night wondering if that was night that we would all be incinerated in our beds. 911 was a collective, nationally, even internationally shared trauma.

At the bottom of a lot of our fears is the fear of death, for ourselves, for our loved ones. The death of one person in our lives or facing death ourselves is a traumatic thing. 911 and The Cold War magnify this fear. The fear of death is a fear that covers people. It was this fear that lead me to the only Being who cold defeat death, our mortal enemy. And those of us who know Him take comfort in His power over death. We hold on to the One who defeated death. Hanging onto Him gets us through these things like 911.

Isaiah 25:7 And on this M0untain He will swallow up the covering which is over all peoples, even the veil which is stretched over all nations. Vs 8a He will swallow up death for all time, and the Lord GOD will wipe tears away from all faces,

No comments: