Monday, August 06, 2007

Remembering Hiroshima

This year, I will republish my Hiroshima poem. But first, here's what General Eisenhower on the bombing of Hiroshima:

"In 1945 ... , Secretary of War Stimson visited my headquarters in Germany, [and] informed me that our government was preparing to drop an atomic bomb on Japan. I was one of those who felt that there were a number of cogent reasons to question the wisdom of such an act.... During his recitation of the relevant facts, I had been conscious of a feeling of depression and so I voiced to him my grave misgivings, first on the basis of my belief that Japan was already defeated and that
dropping the bomb was completely unnecessary, and second because I thought that our country should avoid shocking world opinion by the use of a weapon whose employment was, I thought, no longer mandatory as a measure to save American lives. It was my belief that Japan was, at that very moment, seeking some way to surrender with a minimum loss of 'face.' The Secretary was deeply perturbed by my attitude, almost angrily refuting the reasons I gave for my quick conclusions.

And Norman Cousins on General McArthur's views:

Norman Cousins was a consultant to General MacArthur during the American occupation of Japan. Cousins writes of his conversations with MacArthur, "MacArthur's views about the decision to drop the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were starkly different from what the general public supposed." He continues, "When I asked General MacArthur about the decision to drop the bomb, I was surprised to learn he had not even been consulted. What, I asked, would his advice have been? He replied that he saw no military justification for the dropping of the bomb. The war might have ended weeks earlier, he said, if the United States had agreed, as it later did anyway, to the retention of the institution of the emperor.

Also read this excellent article in

Here's my poem:

Nuclear reaction

Searing heat
Blinding light

Hearts and lives torn apart
As the force of the fire
Is stronger
Than the love of a mother
For her trapped child
Black charred bodies laying strewn amidst the rubble.
Two hundred thousand voices screaming in unison
Sometimes silence is the only response
Sometimes silence is the only response
From the ashes
Arises hope
And a wish
For a peaceful tomorrow