Just reflecting on past times..

I was born in 1948. World War II hadn’t been over that long. So, when I was a kid war was part of everyday life. World War II hadn’t been over that long when we went to war in Korea. We had our heros like John Wayne, Henry Fonda, and Gregory Peck starring in these epic war movies about battles in Europe and the Pacific. Audy Murphey was a war hero from World War II and he starred in some great movies.

The movies didn’t glorify war, they gave us heros. The hero always went up against a formidable enemy and had tempestous love affairs with beautiful heroines. Great epics like “From Here to Eternity”, “The longest Day” and “Bridge Over the River Kwi”[sp] pitted our heros against insurmountable odds. But generally in the end our hero won.

Then there were the air raid shelters and the drills to prepare you for that “nuclear” attack that could come at any time. Of course we were all too young to realize that all the drills were for naught. But we knew that we had to prepare ourselves because our government said so. The “Cold War” was in full force and the “Russinas” were the enemy. Communism had spread all over the world, especially Asia and Indo-China. “Those Commies” couldn’t be trusted. If they built three missles we had to have six missles. The nuclear arms race was in in full throttle.

We went from Korea into Vietnam. All through grade school and high school the news was about the War in Vietnam. Sometimes one of our friend’s brother was killed there. But even though Vietnam was on the nightly news and our classmates had brothers killed there, it was still something remote and distant from our actual lives. It was fought “over there.”

In grade school a lot of the guys wanted to go fight. But as we moved on into high school things began to change. All the while we were fighting in Vietnam we had our own war of sorts right here at home. The Civil Rights movement was happening here at home. Blacks no longer content to remain in the backgrond as second class citizens began to stage peaceful marches, sitins, and other forms of protests.

John Kennedy was now President and his brother Bobby was Attorney General. Governor Wallace refused to allow two Black students to enter the doors of a college in Alabama. Whites and Blacks began to have violent outbursts. Cities across the nation were torn up in riots and violence. Bobby sent the National Guard to Alabama. Young people Black and White went to Alabama and other racial hot beds to take part in the marches. Three young peace activists were brutally murdered. I don’t think they ever found out for sure who killed them. But, I’m pretty sure they knew who killed them. They just couldn’t prove it.

The Drug culture became a big thing in the states then too. Young people became hippies. Protests against the war started occuring across the country. The “flower children” were heavy into psycidylic drugs and pot. They practiced “free love” and had huge festivals where sex and drugs were used openly. The women wore long skirts and sandals. They had long hair. The men wore jeans and sandals and had long hair. They both wore these plain simple shirts [forget what they were called]. Volkswagon Vans were painted with peace symbols and psycidylic artwork. These vans were like “love nests” for sex and drug parties.

Somewhere in here we had the Cuban Missle Crisis. I think it was more real to the adults than it ever was to us kids. We all had fathers, uncles, and other male relatives who had fought in WW II and Korea. They remembered what war was like. They remembered the “bombs” dropped on Japan. They seldom talked about the war. But many of them hung onto the TV when the movies of the war came on. Combat was a big hit. Vic MOrrow was the Sgt. for a platoon during WW II. But he got killed by a helpcopter crash while shooting a scene and the show left the air.

Then Martin Luther King was killed by an assasin’s bullet. Not long afterwards, an assassin killed Jihn Kennedy in Dallas. To this day there is controversy over who really killed him. These were the sixties. And nothing would ever be the same again!!

(edited for content)


~ by devildog6771 on March 29, 2005.

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