The Wailing Sirens

Wednesday, July 31 2002

Yesterday evening I was driving from the skatepark in Newberg to the city pool to pick up Carrie after she was finished doing her laps. On the way, I heard something I hadn’t heard since I was a little kid.

Every third or fourth Friday of the month, our city used to test it’s air raid sirens. They produced a deep long wailing sound, which, if you weren’t used to, could be quite forboding. They stopped doing it for whatever reason, and I hadn’t heard it for years.

Last night, I heard it again, but this time my reaction was a bit different. One of the first things I did was switch on the news to make sure the sky wasn’t falling. For a moment, I was genuinely worried by the noise, thinking the sirens were being used for their intended purposes (eminent attack) for perhaps the first time. Pretty weird.