Minute Man Missiles

Our next stop was to see the Minuteman Missile National Historic Site, just before you get to Wall, S.D. I grew up during the Cold War and our biggest fears as children were that a nuclear war would begin with the Soviet Union. In grade school we were required to duck under our desks at least once a week. Television was filled with the frightful war time television shows about WWII and the nightly news reported the deaths each day in VietNam. These missile silos had always been a fearful presence on the landscape and I thought about how much these wars had shaped our American psyche. It was strange to see the archaic remnants of something once so lethal. The technology didn't look so scary now. Of course the missiles are no longer in place and the weapons consoles have taken on that “discarded” appearance of other post-war sites such as Mare Island in California and other closed forts and bases across the country. The historic site is housed in a portable building with a deck where the interpretive panels look out on a grassy area where a missile silo once housed a missile.

These three interpretive panels shows the significant role these missiles played in keeping the "cold war" peace. Although they are hard to read, the graphics should give you a good idea of the important role and basic understanding of their significance during those years.

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