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The Boston Globe


Opinion | David M. Shribman

In the wake of the Thresher disaster

This is a column about a submarine that was lost, a superpower struggle that has ended, a scrapbook that was never completed — and a lesson that was never forgotten.

Today hardly anyone remembers the Thresher. The passage of time has stilled the unrequited hopes, the horror, and the helplessness of a terrible week half a century ago when a nuclear submarine disappeared during sea trials off the shore of Cape Cod, 129 men perishing with it. Yet as the 50th anniversary of the disaster approaches, it stands out as a moment when America’s military hardware stopped seeming unshakeable — and when the human cost of the struggle between capitalism and communism became clearer.

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