I just learned that on our recent bike trip, we biked right past numerous missile silos. As in, we must have gone within 100s of feet of them, but we had no idea what we were seeing. In particular, we biked on highways 71 and 14 in the Pawnee National Grasslands in Colorado, and this map shows that there are several missile silos along those roads. I am a bit in shock about this. First of all, it would have been quite interesting if I had known what those industrial-looking fenced-off structures were. Second of all, I had no idea that missile silos even existed (yes, I am perhaps a bit uninformed about certain things). I am shocked to realize that right here in the middle of the country, near where I live, missiles could be sent off to do great damage to another country. Some of the missile silos are no longer in use, but I believe that many of the ones I passed are still active. This page about protesting the silos says, among other things, that “Missiles in Colorado, Nebraska, and Wyoming remain on very high alert and can be launched within minutes on orders from the President.” Wow. Apparently, these active silos hold Minuteman missiles, about which you can read all the gory details in the wikipedia article. Knowing that I have been in the presence of an active missile silo makes all the more real the sheer horror of these huge weapons of mass destructions. I can hardly believe that this is the sort of thing our government feels is necessary to “protect” our country.
I applaud the nun who went to prison for defacing a silo a few years ago, and who continues to believe she did the right thing:
“The charges remain bogus,” she said. “It was, ‘If you’re not with us, you’re against us.’ And be assured, I would never stand with this government in any kind of killing.”