Through the Heart of America

A sobering fact has always haunted my steps of deepening involvement in the Nuclear Train campaign, a fact that probably also haunts each of us at some point in our efforts and that leads most of us to the tracks in due time: For tens of years, for nearly all of my life, the Nuclear Train has been running through our country virtually unnoticed, almost matter-of-factly.

Of course, nuclear weapons have to somehow get to where they are. It is somehow threatening, though, to, our very human identity to come to terms with the fact that many, many other human beings have been taking these nuclear monstrosities on their journey from conception to deployment—and with a great deal of care and attention and energy!

But perhaps even more frightening is the conditioning, or "numbing," that has occurred in the lives of many of us living with the reality of the nuclear age. Ends now largely dictate the means in our society. Hence, we have the all-too-true analogy between our cultural silence and mass self-deception in the face of global annihilation plans, and that of the people of Nazi Germany in the face of mass extermination camps.

As for myself, I am surprised to realize how late in coming were my own questions about the existence of nuclear death trains (and now, nuclear trucks). I am surprised at my surprise, for, in truth, these trains have not been passing by me oblivious to my eyes; they have been passing directly through me and have never been clearly felt by my heart.

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