Remembering Hiroshima

Mr. Tanimoto, fearful for his family and church, at first ran toward them by the shortest route, along Koi Highway. He was the only person making his way into the city; he met hundreds and hundreds who were fleeing, and every one of them seemed to be hurt in some way. The eyebrows of some were burned off and skin hung from their faces and hands. Others, because of the pain, held their arms up as if carrying something in both hands. Some were vomiting as they walked. Many were naked or in shreds of clothing. On some undressed bodies, the burns had made patters- of undershirt straps and suspenders and, on the skin of some women (since white repelled the heat from the bomb and dark clothes absorbed it and conducted it to the skin), the shapes of flowers they had had on their kimonos. Many, although injured themselves, supported relatives who were worse off. Almost had their heads bowed, looked straight ahead, were silent, and showed no expression whatever.

John Hersey, Hiroshima

On debunking the justifications for the use of the atomic bomb: Remembering Hiroshima, via

Today is, unfortunately, not merely occasion for remembering the callous destruction of a city and its people in the recent past; it should also be occasion to stiffen our resolve against present-day leaders who would just as readily employ the same brutal weapons again.

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