I was born and spent my early childhood in East Tennessee. My home was just a few miles from a little town known as Oak Ridge. At that time Oak Ridge was the home of the development of the atomic bomb. Little was publicly known or reported, but everyone who lived near there knew. My father worked as a guard there. He didn’t talk about it but we all knew.
I point this out because I remember well the fear we all had. We knew that in the event of an attack from anyone, Oak Ridge would have been the first target. In our school we had bomb attack drills. The bell would ring and we would crawl under our desks and cover our heads waiting to hear either the bomb drop and explode or the all clear. Even and especially for children it was a scary time.
There were the bomb shelters. People would buy and bury huge tanks and fully stock them with several weeks of supplies. A lot of entrepreneurial people made big money selling fear. It was an intense time in our history.
Many of you will doubtless remember this time. I am sure that the bomb drills happened everywhere. I am sure that the fear we felt was felt in many if not all parts of the country. That fear was a part of my life for many years. It was the Japanese, then the Germans, then the Russians. Somebody was going to get us, it was just a matter of time.
The Russians, or as we were told the “Red Menace,” were the worst. They also had the bomb. Russian spies stole our secrets and gave them to the Russians so now they had the bomb.
The fear I had lasted until a fellow named Ronald Reagan along with a lady known as Margaret Thatcher decided to bring this fear to an end. Essentially they got together and priced the Soviet Union out of existence. I was thrilled when the wall came tumbling down. I was thrilled to know that the “Red Menace” was just a paper tiger after all. The Soviet Union broke apart.
Today a little fellow known as Vladimir Putin has apparently decided to reconstitute the old Soviet Union. He and his cohorts have looked over the world situation and decided that neither NATO, nor the United Nations, nor the United States will do anything to stop them from their desire to once again try to obtain world dominance. So far it appears they were right. They moved into Crimea and took over with no resistance from anyone. Now they are doing the same thing in Ukraine with little or no resistance or interference from the West or anyone. To me this is doubtless an attempt to reestablish the old Soviet Union.
I have a simple question. Will we sit by and allow Russia to get away with this or will we stop it? Will we submit to this international terrorism or will we stop it? To date our record under this President has not been very good. Our stinging letters of protest have not been very successful so far. It would appear that the Russians don’t speak “stinging protest.” The only language they understand has a little more force behind it.
I refuse to be afraid anymore. I refuse to allow my children and grandchildren to be afraid. It is time to stand up to Putin and his henchmen. Do you recall the commercial that says, “You can pay me now or you can pay me later?” We can deal with Russia now or we will surely have to deal with her later. Let’s stop this aggression now.