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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Last of the B-53s

Today's edition of The Washington Post contains an article by columnist Walter Pincus that stands apart from all the other gloomy world and national news.

"Outside the nuclear weapons communities, little notice was paid last week to the announcement that authorization had finally come through to begin dismantling the last of the minivan-size B-53s, the most powerful thermonuclear bombs ever deployed," Pincus writes.

In terms of payload, the B-53 packs a punch.  It's 600 times more powerful than the bomb that leveled Hiroshima. 

The US, at one point during the Cold War, had 300 B-53s in its arsenal.

Soon, they'll be no more.

As a child of the '60s, I recall with fond memories participating in air raid drills during school hours.
 

The whole elementary school would assemble in the gym and scrunch down under the vast wooden bleachers.

The principal stepped up the air rid drills around the time of Cuban Missle Crisis, which gave us fourth graders a lot of time to discuss what the last four seconds of our young lives would be like after "the bomb" fell on nearby New York City.

Although we were just kids, we thoughtwe knewthe principal was out of her gourd.

My pal Mookie, street wise and a fountain of knowledge, would always say the same thing.  "No one can live through the A-bomb.  We'll all melt in seconds."

Of course, he was right.  (Mookie was reliably right about everything.)

Just learning that soon there will be no more B-53s gives me a reason to celebrate.  How about you?

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