Friday, August 6, 2010

Lest We Forget

My friend Kathy just reminded me that today is the anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima.  When I talk to kids at the university these days, many of them do not, perhaps *cannot* comprehend the gravity of this day and the day of the Nagasaki bombing.  It was my grandparents' generation who fought this war and saw the effects firsthand.  As our population ages, our societal memory fades.  But we cannot forget.  We must never, ever forget.

We must never forget the horrible loss of life incurred on these two days, and through the Holocaust.  We must never forget what was done in the Balkans, in Uganda, and in all the many other places where hate has been allowed to foment into unspeakable violence.  We must be persistent in our efforts to understand and respect one another, and vigilant in the prevention of any further atrocities.

For the victims of Hiroshima, I will not forget you.

 The mushroom cloud rising over Hiroshima, Japan. The city of Hiroshima was the target of the world’s first atomic bomb attack at 8:16 a.m. on August 6, 1945. The cloud rose to over 60,000 feet in about ten minutes.

 Ruins and debris scattered near the hypocenter. The tall building in the distance is the Chugoku Shimbun building, one of Hiroshima’s newspapers.

The ruins of Hiroshima. Almost all wooden houses to a radius of 4,750 - 6,330 feet (1,450 - 1,930 meters) from the hypocenter were crushed instantly. Fire then swept through them, either from the heat of the blast or from cooking fires, until they were engulfed by the firestorm.

photos from Hiroshima & Nagasaki Remembered


  1. thanks for the reminder. I totally agree that we must not let these tragedies slip from the collective consciousness

  2. Thank you for posting this - -it is something that should never be forgotten. Actually 40 years ago this week I was in Hiroshima -- seeing the museam and Peace Plaza was something that has stayed with me forever. The expression "Lest we Forget" is very important with all of these past tragedies.

  3. What a terrible event! You are right..we should not forget!

  4. Thanks, everyone. I worry sometimes that reminding people about these things will make them jaded, and make them less likely to think about these issues, but then I think that it's worth risking that, if it helps most people think soberly about preventing future tragedies...


  5. And here I am in RI celebrating VJ Day....


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