Tonight I watched a documentary video with two of my kids. It was all about the development of nuclear weapons here in New Mexico.
We are currently staying in Alamogordo, New Mexico, near the “Trinity” site, where the first nuclear detonation on Earth occurred in 1945, as part of the US Government’s Manhattan Project.
We talked about nuclear weapons after the movie. And I shared with my kids the feelings that I had growing up under the constant threat of mutually assured destruction during the Cold War.
I think that most young people today really do not realize the power of these weapons. I also think that they don’t seriously consider the existence and danger of these weapons as relevant to their lives.
Much like the exploration of space, which was so huge when I was young, the issue of the existence of these weapons seems as almost an antique concern.
When we travel and visit space and nuclear-related sites, I notice a distinct majority of gray haired folks among the other visitors.
Kids today take this stuff for granted. And I think that glorified delivery-truck missions into low Earth orbit (the Space Shuttle) and the International Space Station (that no one seems to understand why it exists) just do not capture the imagination of young people.
I know that my kids had big eyes when they perceived what nuclear weapons can do. I told them that I want to take them to see a rocket launch sometime so that they can experience the awe of being in the presence of real, raw power.
There is something mystical, spiritual, and sobering about such experiences. They tend to wake you up.
I, for one, want my kids to enter adulthood wide awake.
All the best,