BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND
By Garland Davis
I live in Hawaii. My house is on the side of a hill and overlooks Pearl Harbor. I can see Ford Island and the Arizona Memorial from my rear patio. An atomic airburst over Pearl harbor would, in all probability, destroy my house and take our lives.
My wife and I have played the what-if game about an atomic attack on Hawaii. It is just an academic exercise playing, “What would happen and what will we do.” The consensus we reached was, very little due to our location overlooking Pearl Harbor.
This morning, shortly after eight, my wife was changing for a trip to the Commissary and I was reading an article on a local news site when my cell phone chimed the urgent alarm tone. I picked up thinking there is a Tsunami warning, I know there is no storm, not a cloud in the sky when I walked the dog barely an hour earlier… I saw this on the phone:
BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII! SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL!
Suddenly the “What-Ifs” we had talked about became a horrifying reality. My wife asked, “What can we do,”
“I told her, “If this is real, we have less than ten minutes. We’ve talked about this and have determined there is nothing to do.”
She called the dog into the office. The three of us were together if it happened.
I got on the phone and called a couple of people in the know. Within a couple of minutes, I learned that a friend was in contact with the Pacific Command and had passed the word that it was “Bullshit.”
My wife and I left for the Commissary and were on the freeway when the “False Alarm” message was passed via cellphone. Thirty-eight minutes after the initial alert! How many thousands of the one point three million residents and visitors spent that time in abject terror.
I was under fire a number of times during the Vietnam War but I never felt the sense of helplessness during those times that I did this morning.