Dreams of mushroom clouds during the Cold War was certainly not something that put kids of the '50s

Legacy of the Cold War

If you’re a child of the ‘50s, ‘60s, ‘70s or ‘80s, reading this story will likely bring back some rather unpleasant memories.

This week’s story on the bunker below the Gray Building is another fascinating look into our past courtesy of reporter Greg Nesteroff. It’s a great read, but also an opportunity to appreciate just how far we’ve come as a planet over the last 60-plus years.

If you’re a child of the ‘50s, ‘60s, ‘70s or ‘80s, reading this story will likely bring back some rather unpleasant memories. The thought of going to bed at night and not rising because of nuclear annihilation seemed very real to young and old between the years of 1947 and 1991.

The Cold War pitted the United States-led Western Bloc against the USSR-led Eastern Bloc. The rhetoric, amassing of arms and political posturing of those years threatened an extremely dire outcome. In those days it seemed like there was a precariously fine line between diplomacy and total destruction.

Most people in Nelson had no idea a bunker below street level existed to keep key members of the regional community safe in case it all went wrong. Thankfully, today the bunker can be opened to the public as a reminder of that era.

Our world today continues to be plump with conflict. A quick scan of world headlines turns up troubling tension in Egypt, Syria, North Korea, Iran and Nigeria. Certainly hundreds of thousands of people continue to suffer and die because of lust for power, greed and ignorance. In so many places around the world, children go to bed with the same horrifying Cold War thoughts of not waking up the next morning.

World peace is impossible and violence will never vanish. That said, humans do seem able to learn from mistakes of the past. In today’s world, a nuclear war on a massive scale is extremely unlikely and bunkers like those on Vernon Street need only be testaments to generations gone by.

There’s still much work to be done, but reflecting on our history and reminding ourselves of how life used to be, can help make a better future.

 

Just Posted

Slocan Valley to be ‘lit up’ with high-speed internet in 12 months

125 kilometres of fibre-optic cable to be laid from Nakusp to Playmore Junction

LETTERS: In support of student climate strikers

From readers Tia Leschke and Sharon Inkpen

Kootenay Musical Theatre Society ready to make a deal with the Devil

The new group will put on an original show in October at the Capitol Theatre

Nelson councillor starts national municipal climate group

Climate Leadership Caucus has 57 members including seven mayors

RDCK to purchase portion of lands around Cottonwood Lake

21.6 hectares will be purchased for $450,000

Protective human chain forms around Victoria mosque for Friday prayer

Islanders stand arm-in-arm to show support in aftermath of New Zealand shootings

2 fires in Victoria caused by cigarettes prompts warning from deputy fire chief

Two separate fires caused by cigarette butts were avoidable

‘Families torn apart:’ Truck driver in fatal Broncos crash gets 8-year sentence

Judge Inez Cardinal told court in Melfort, Sask., that Sidhu’s remorse and guilty plea were mitigating factors

Boy who went missing from park remains largest probe in Victoria police history

The four-year old Victoria boy went missing without a trace on March 24, 1991

WestJet sticking with Boeing 737 Max once planes certified to fly

WestJet had expected to add two more of the planes this year to increase its fleet to 13

B.C. driver caught going 207 km/h on motorcycle along Okanagan Highway

A motorcyclist was caught by Kelowna RCMP going 207 km/h on Highway 97C

Protective human chain forms around B.C. mosque for Friday prayer

Vancouver Islanders stand arm-in-arm to show support in aftermath of New Zealand shootings

B.C. fire department offers tips to keep your home safe during wildfire season

With wildfire season getting closer, the Penticton Fire Dept. offer tips to keep your home safe

Rural Kootenay communities to receive high-speed internet upgrade

The provincial government is increasing internet connectivity to rural British Columbia

Most Read