Sunday, August 10, 2008

Hiroshima Mon Amour

Hiroshima Dome_2
Genbaku Dome, Hiroshima: Ground Zero.

Twenty five years ago to the day I was in Japan attending a conference. The date was also very close to the anniversary of the atomic bombing of that country. I took a side trip to the city of Hiroshima to view the site of the first nuclear attack. I've visited many battlefields in my life. All have a poignant vibe but this city seemed to physically resonate with the agonies of tortured souls*.

Ringing the Bell of Peace _3
August 1983: MD rings the Bell of Peace.

At the time of writing this post (August 9th) it is the 63rd anniversary of the bombing of Nagasaki. I'm hoping that mankind remembers clearly the horrors of nuclear weaponry and that they will never be used again. But somehow I doubt it.

* Statistics. When the Enola Gay dropped Little Boy, a 13 kiloton firecracker compared with the superpowerful megaton devices now in the arsenals of perhaps eight countries or more, 80,000 people lost their lives instantly and another 60,000 died of burns and radiation injuries quite soon after. It is likely that a further 50-60,000 individuals died of radiation induced cancers in the post-war years.

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