Friday, August 12, 2005

Thousands Mourn The Anniversary Of Being Nuked.

Thousands gathered in Nagasaki, Japan to mark the 60th anniversary of the US atomic attack on the city. At least 80,000 died in the bombing, that followed the US atomic attack on Hiroshima. A bronze bell rang over the city marking the precise moment 60 years ago when the attack took place. Ichho Itoh, Nagasaki’s Mayor said at the ceremony, “The United States has 10,000 nuclear weapons, has conducted sub-critical nuclear tests and on top of that is pursuing the development of miniature nuclear weapons. Do the American people really think the policies of their country are going to bring about peace?” Itoh went on to say, “We understand your anger and anxiety over the memories of the horror of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Yet, is your security enhanced by your government’s policies of maintaining [those] 10,000 nuclear weapons?”

2 Comments:

Blogger MiamiMiami said...

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2:09 PM  
Blogger MiamiMiami said...

Dropping the bomb was absolutely necessary. The Japanese would have fought to the last person. Please let's not forget that it was the Japanese who finally brought the US into the war after the few years that we had tried to stay out of it. Thousands of soldiers would have needlessly died in a D-Day style invasion (which was in the plans) had we NOT dropped the bomb. Here is a story written by a survivor of the bombing. While it recounts the horror of the bombing it reiterates this point.

Hiroshima survivor saw hell

N.Y.'er tells of day sky turned orange

By MAKI BECKER
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER

Hiroshima survivor Tomiko Morimoto West

Tomiko at 13 with friend
LAGRANGEVILLE, N.Y. - Sixty years later, Tomiko Morimoto West still remembers the low drone of the B-29 that flew over Hiroshima and changed her life forever.
She was just 13. The horrific atomic blast on Aug. 6, 1945, all but wiped out her hometown in an instant. Her widowed mother was killed, and her grandparents would die later in agony.

"They left me all by myself," she said.

All alone, she suffered the effects of radiation sickness, which may have contributed to her inability to have children. But she is not bitter.

West, now 73 and a retired Vassar College lecturer, believes the atomic bomb that robbed her of her family and her innocence saved countless lives - Japanese and American.

"If it was not for the atomic bomb, we [Japanese] were in such a mental state, we would have fought until the last person," said West, who was taught as a little girl how to fight with a sharpened bamboo stick in the event of an invasion.

"I never, never, never hated the Americans," said West, who now lives near Poughkeepsie and is married to a former G.I.

On the morning of Aug. 6, 1945, West was in a factory courtyard with other girls her age, where they worked to support the war. She recalled how they all looked up at the American plane in the cloudless sky.

"Suddenly, there was a flash," she said.

She wouldn't know until much later that a 5-ton atomic bomb had been dropped on her city. Forty thousand people were killed instantly. Another 100,000, including her grandparents, would die by the end of the year from wounds and radiation sickness.

After the flash, she saw a brilliant orange orb, the color of the sun as it sets in the ocean, erupt in the sky - and she hit the ground.

When she looked up, the buildings around her and much of the city were on fire. The students ran up a small mountain to escape the flames.

Her teacher told the students, "You have to stay until somebody comes to pick you up."

But no one came for West. So when morning came, the teacher told her to go home.

West was stunned by the hellish ruins of Hiroshima. Burned soldiers, their skin dripping off their arms, begged her for water. Wailing mothers stopped her to ask if she had seen their children. A charred trolley car was packed with lifeless passengers still hanging onto the handrail. As she crossed a bridge over a river, she looked down and saw "a sea of dead people."

When West finally reached her home, she found it flattened. "I didn't know where to go," she said.

West tracked down her grandparents in a mountain cave surrounded by other wounded survivors. "I remember the horrible smell," she said. Her grandfather was hurt, with shards of glass embedded in his back.

About a week later, she went back to her house and found her mother's body crumpled in the rubble. "I guess [the house] came down on her."

On Aug. 15, a week after a second A-bomb was dropped, on Nagasaki, Japan surrendered.

Within the next 10 days her grandparents died, and the teenager had to cremate them both by herself. West became sick and went to the Americans for treatment.

As an adult, she learned English and met a G.I. named Melvin West. He was "very cute, very quiet," she said.

He went back to the U.S. and they exchanged letters for several years before he invited her to join him. They were soon married, and settled in Lagrangeville.

This weekend, as she has done for so many previous A-bomb anniversaries, West and her husband will participate in somber memorials. "It gives me a chance to mourn," she said.

West believes the horror and sadness of her youth taught her to appreciate life.

"I live amid the trees, surrounded by nature, and I get up every morning and I'm so happy," she said. "I feel I'm the luckiest person."

Originally published on August 5, 2005

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Please take note of this passage:
"If it was not for the atomic bomb, we [Japanese] were in such a mental state, we would have fought until the last person," said West, who was taught as a little girl how to fight with a sharpened bamboo stick in the event of an invasion.

"I never, never, never hated the Americans," said West, who now lives near Poughkeepsie and is married to a former G.I.

Yes our security is maintained by these weapons. It is what has kept countries like the old Soviet Union from kicking our butt.

2:11 PM  

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