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

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.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

This picture of Taghum resident Marc Savard was taken in February when he first spoke to the Nelson Star and little was known about the virus that had shut him out of his job in Wuhan, China. Photo: Tyler Harper
VIDEO: Once an outlier, Nelson man’s COVID-19 experience now typical

Savard was living in Wuhan, China, when the pandemic began

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
47 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health region

1,538 total cases, 399 are active, ten in hospital

Nelson city council conducted an online resident survey about patios and food trucks and got over a thousand responses. Photo: Bill Metcalfe
Nelson council hears results of survey on patios and food trucks

A city’s online survey got 1,130 responses

Communities like Nakusp are grappling with the challenge of hooking high-speed internet up at individual homes. File photo
‘Last mile’ debate a Gordian knot in Slocan Valley’s fibre-optic cable plans

How do you bring high-speed internet not just to communities, but individual homes?

One of seven kitties rescued from a property east of Grand Forks Friday, Nov. 27. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Grand Forks women rescue sick kitties from rural property

Kimberly Feeny and Lisa Valenta spent their Friday nursing seven cats rescued east of the city

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Kevin Bieksa during his days playing with the Vancouver Canucks. (Photo: commons.wikimedia.org)
Bieksa to guest on free Canucks Alumni ‘Hot Stove’ on Zoom app

Former NHL player has become a game analyst on Sportsnet

114 Canadians were appointed Nov. 27 to the Order of Canada. (Governor General of Canada photo)
Indigenous actor, author, elder, leaders appointed to Order of Canada

Outstanding achievement, community dedication and service recognized

Screenshot of Pastor James Butler giving a sermon at Free Grace Baptist Church in Chilliwack on Nov. 22, 2020. The church has decided to continue in-person services despite a public health order banning worship services that was issued on Nov. 19, 2020. (YouTube)
2 Lower Mainland churches continue in-person services despite public health orders

Pastors say faith groups are unfairly targeted and that charter rights protect their decisions

A big job: Former forests minister Doug Donaldson stands before a 500-year-old Douglas fir in Saanich to announce preservation of some of B.C.’s oldest trees, July 2019. (B.C. government)
B.C. returning to ‘stand-alone’ forests, rural development ministry

Horgan says Gordon Campbell’s super-ministry doesn’t work

Peter Wilson, left, and Micah Rankin, right, formed the Special Prosecutor team that was tasked with reviewing and litigating charges stemming from the Bountiful investigation. Trevor Crawley photo.
End of Bountiful prosecution wraps up decades of legal battles

Constitutional questions had to be settled before a polygamy prosecution could move forward

2020
Urban wildlife Part VI: The East Kootenay birds of autumn

The work of local photographers printed in the pages of the East Kootenay Advertiser throughout 2020. Part VI.

Most Read