The Perspectives We Carry: The Cold War through many lenses

After ending in 1991, the Cold war continues to have an impact on different parts of the world. There has been an affect on countries, governments, families, the environment, and more from the war years after it ended.

The Things They Carried

The Things They Carried is a collection of short stories written by Tim O’Brien that explain the effects that the Vietnam war had on the people who were drafted. It explains their experiences during and after the war. It is based on his own personal experiences as a soldier in the war.

Environmental effects

This video explains effects on the Columbia River caused by the Cold war.

During WWI, many nuclear reactors were used to produce plutonium, which required lots of water for cooling. The cooling water prevented the reactors from overheating. The nuclear reactors in Hanford were releasing toxic water into the Columbia River. Once the Cold war started, they began building even more reactors and using more power, which meant more contaminated water.

Latin America

This article explains the effects on Latin Americans after the Cold war and how many US officials decline to reflect on the situation.

http://www.scielo.org.co/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0121-47052013000300001

Hundreds of thousands of people died in places like Guatemala and El Salvador during the Cold war, and many of them were murdered and even tortured. But most of the time, the US doesn’t acknowledge the prices they paid for defeating the soviet union, and often portray the Cold war as a positive thing.

The Korean War

This short article explains the effect on Korea after the Korean war.

The Korean war lasted three years, from 1950 to 1953, and caused over 3 million casualties. After the war ended, Korea was split into North Korea and South Korea. The two countries are separated by the Korean Demilitarized Zone, and many families remain separated.

Trauma from the Vietnam war

This article addresses the affect on Vietnam war veterans and shows three videos of veterans sharing their story.

When the veterans came back home from the war, many suffered symptoms of PTSD and other mental health challenges. Many of them experienced flashbacks and trauma from the memories of their experiences. In some cases, they would turn to drug and alcohol usage as a way to escape. Lots of veterans overdosed on substances or committed suicide. Fortunately, there were also many of them who had help from therapy and other support systems for their mental health.

After The Berlin Wall

This page describes the effects on the European Union after the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989

European countries bound under the Warsaw Pact became independent as the Soviet Union dissolved into 15 republics. This caused wars and genocide in places like Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia, which split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

Nuclear war

This is a political cartoon by Leslie Illingworth that represents the concern of nuclear warfare.

After the atomic raids in Japan during the end of WWII, both the US and the USSR began developing bigger nuclear weapons. Many people were concerned of the heat between the two sides and that the new weapons would be launched and have a devastating affect on both sides of the world.

Central America

This article explains the effects of the cold war on Central America.

There were many wars happening in Central America between the US and the USSR in places like El Salvador and Guatemala. Many people began immigrating to the United States during and after the wars. In big cities like Los Angeles, many young refugees had to deal with local street gangs. Many of these gang members were deported back to Central America, which caused more gangs to grow and terrorize neighborhoods.

Conclusion

After being over for many decades, the Cold war continues to have a huge impact on people all over the world. The people who were there, people who live in the countries involved, people in charge of those countries, even people like us are affected. This really shows just how big of an event a war can be, and that, although it may have seemed like a victory to the US, the prices everyone had to pay were extremely high.

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