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Cuban Missile Crisis: End of Innocence

Two women I'm writing about for a Sunday story were second-graders at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School in Spokane in 1962 when the Cuban Missile Crisis was upon us.

It was going on exactly 49 years ago this week. Cuba, with Soviet Union backing, was prepared to use nuclear weapons against us to defend Cuba.

The women remember doing drills and running across the street from Our Lady of Lourdes Cathedral to a building that then housed Smith Funeral Home.

I am the same age as the women and remember we were told to run home from St. Charles School as fast as we could for the drill. If we could make it in 15 minutes, we could run in the event of a nuclear attack. If not, we were to stay at school.

I got lost (we lived 30 minutes away) and luckily a woman in the school neighborhood (a friend of my mom's) gave me shelter.

The women who ran to the funeral home remember their worry that the world was ending. Me, too,

Our innocence died rather young.

Any Cuban Missile Crisis memories out there? 

(AP archive photo of President Kennedy addressing the nation about the crisis)

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Writer Catherine Johnston of Olympia, Wash., addresses issues facing aging baby boomers and seniors as well as issues of serious illness, death and dying, grief and loss.

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