I am a child of the Cold War and like my parents, it will shape me till the day I die. I just finished watching a very troubling film called Testament and it brought back all kinds of memories. Set in 1983 small town California, it's the no nonsense story of a close knit family who find their world shattered by nuclear war. There are no mushroom clouds, no special effects, no gore or violence, hell, we don't even know why the war started, we just know that it slowly destroys all that this family knows. For those out there who were born after about 1982 or so, you just have no idea how scary it all was. Each night, we all went to bed knowing that it was entirely possible that while we slept, the missles would launch and the bombers would fly. NATO and The Warsaw Pact were both armed to the teeth and fingers were on the triggers, the only question being who would blink first.
In the end of course, the West prevailed and the Soviet Union collapsed along with it's empire across Eastern Europe. We came quite close to all out war in my lifetime and even more so in the lifetimes of my parents. Mom and Dad grew up practicing war drills at school, drills that were abandonded by the time I got to school as it became clear that none of us were going to survive if the bombs did drop. Yes, it was scary as hell and it's something I don't want to go back to no matter what. For those too young to remember or even know what I'm talking about, lucky you.