Here I sit on the other side of an ocean and on the far side of North America, 73 years after the United States dropped two atomic bombs at the end of the Second World War— destroying Hiroshima, Japan on August 6, 1945 and exploding over Nagasaki three days later on August 9. Hundreds of thousands of people, animals and other life dissolved in an instant.
On Hiroshima Memorial Day, August 6, 2018 I endeavour to expand my awareness beyond stock images of a massive mushroom cloud, the horrors of mass death and years of radiation sicknesses. I scroll through online articles grasping for nuggets of hope.
in a field of death
In 1949 the mayor of Hiroshima proclaimed his city to be a ‘City of Peace’. From there the city blossomed as a hub of memorials and advocacy for world peace and nuclear disarmament. In 2017 an International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize for achieving a global agreement for banning nuclear weapons. What a concept! It has no legal force but the fact that a large number of nations agreed to ban nuclear weapons from the planet is a first step.
My third nugget of hope is that a United States President, Barack Obama, visited Japan in 2016 and spoke peaceful words of reason:
“That is the future we can choose…A future in which Hiroshima and Nagasaki are known not as the dawn of atomic warfare but as the start of our own moral awakening.”
The whole world needs to remember Hiroshima and Nagasaki and recognize that mass destruction cannot resolve the world’s problems.
shadows of steel and flesh
signify the void