Cuba, Russia, NoKo, China ICBM threat: preparing for the unimaginable


When I was in first grade in our Catholic parochial elementary school in the mid 1960s the school desks we had were like those pictured, but the legs were bolted to long pieces of lumber much like a railroad tracks. The desks were always in order and one couldn’t mischievously rock the desk forward either by lifting it up from behind or rocking forward on the seat in front. I would’ve been the kid with bow and arrow outside the window trying to get my sleeping friend to skip school.

Anyway, for many days in a row we had nuclear missile drills in the class room. The goal was to get as quickly under these iron and wooden desks as fast as we could when we were given the signal. This wasn’t fun, and had us living under the dark threat of nuclear war, such as little kids could even begin to understand such things. That was when I began to have a deep hatred for all that which is Communism. All of my multitudinous experiences with Communism since I was a little kid have confirmed and further informed my first visceral judgment. I learned to include other power-ideologies such as one finds in the insane governance of Iran, with the oft-repeated desire to obliterate Israel from the face of the Earth.

Meanwhile, our hide-under-the-desks drill was taking place more than two decades after these USA dropped Little Boy and Fat Man on Hiroshima and Nagasaki respectively. We shouldn’t forget how the war in the Pacific Theater actually ended:

Everyone knows that rule number two: “Trust but VERIFY” while making friends – of sorts – is always one aspect of preparing for the worst. It’s not a backup plan but goes hand in hand with rule number one.

Everyone knows that rule number two will be broken, which is why rule number one is always in place: “Be able and always ready to neutralize an activated threat when rule number two is broken.

Israel knows that neutralizing a merely prepared threat is absolutely necessary where they live. Thus, nuclear reactors manufacturing high grade nuclear warheads in deserts have been routinely obliterated. Great.

Not many know, however, what the absolute best way to prepare for nuclear war happens to be. It comes before the above two rules. It’s overarching, reaching into every aspect of our lives: the Rosary.

Oh, and that applies to the-end-of-the-world for us in our own personal lives, when we die, and either we will go to Heaven (whether after Purgatory or not) or directly to hell. Hell is unimaginably worse than any already unimaginable nuclear annihilation would be for those who somehow survive.

Being one with the Living God whose love is stronger than death is the way to live, and die. No threat is ever so scary when we are walking as one with the very Creator of the Heavens and the Earth, the Divine Son of the Immaculate Conception.

BTW. That picture above belonged to a parishioner who recently died, Marie McIsaac. She had spent a good bit of her life teaching special needs kids. She always had a rule number one for me, every time I visited her as homebound, or in the hospital or nursing home: Behave yourself!


Filed under Military, Rosary

5 responses to “Cuba, Russia, NoKo, China ICBM threat: preparing for the unimaginable

  1. Aussie Mum

    My classmates and I used to sit two to a desk, those desks made of wood and iron as in the picture above, when we were in Catholic primary school in 1950s Australia. I can’t see if the pictured desks had ink wells but I guess they did; ours did. When we first learnt cursive – what we called running writing – we used pens with a nib which we dipped in ink from our ink wells. Later we used fountain pens and weren’t allowed biros until the last years of secondary school. How things have changed and all within one lifetime. In those days, when we came back into our classrooms after lunch, we would also kneel beside our desks to pray the Rosary; few if any systemic Catholic schools in Australia do this today.

    Society has taken great strides forward technologically speaking but is losing its Christian understanding of things. A non-Catholic who came to my home a few days ago was actually surprised when I wished her a Happy Christmas, saying that she had thought I didn’t believe in Christmas because I didn’t have a TV … and this with a crucifix on the wall and a picture of the Immaculate Heart of Mary beside the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the living room where we were.

  2. Joisy Goil

    We also ducked under the desks with our backs to the windows for what the Sisters called ‘bomb practice’. I used to wonder if our desks were blessed or something because how could they protect us from atom bombs?

    We had desks exactly like those in the picture. Ours had inkwells but they were empty and not used. We used fountain pens – ‘Cardinal Pens’ sold by the school for $1 each (which was quite a fortune to us kids). We not allowed to use ball point pens either, until senior year (12th grade).

    We used to get a ‘zero’ if our penmanship did not suit the Sisters.

    Now kids are not taught to write in cursive – we used to call it long hand or ‘Palmer Method.’ How times have changed!

    My 19 year old granddaughter is teaching herself to write long hand because she thinks it is pretty.

    ~ For Aussie Mum – what does owning a TV have to do with believing in Christmas? I don’t get the connection.

    • Aussie Mum

      I wondered the same thing and so my visitor clarified that the only people she has come across without a TV are those with a religious objection to celebrating Christmas. I replied that I was Catholic – which I thought was pretty obvious – not Brethren. I don’t know much about that sect’s religious beliefs, only that they shun the modern world (including the mass media) to some extent. Even after I explained why I didn’t have a TV (It broke down about 10 years ago and I didn’t have it fixed since there wasn’t much worth watching and I had other pressing expenses) she still looked bewildered.

  3. Aussie Mum

    I was wondering why we didn’t have nuclear missile drills at school in the 50s and 60s here in Australia as the US did. My son thinks we didn’t because Australia was, and still is, too insignificant in the grand scheme of things for an enemy to waste their nukes on. I hope he is right.

  4. Mary Be

    Hello Fr.,
    In my day at grammar school in the ’50’s on the very northern coast of California, we had bomb and earthquake drills to dive under our desks. We also lined up and filed down to the locker rooms in the basement for nuclear bomb drills. World War II was still close for our parents. And that “take cover” response is still there!

    The true story of Takashi Nagai, a Catholic and imminent scientist, who some revere as a saint in Japan, was written about how he survived the bombing of Nagasaki, and his life before and after. He wrote amazing descriptions and theological interpretations of this experience.

    Have you heard or read of him before?
    (It does make sense of diving for cover, if you can!)

    There’s two books on Amazon by and about him:

    One might be out of stock soon, the other is a bit pricy, so perhaps you could find them through other means, if you wish.

    Thank you so much for your blog and all you do!


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