August 06, 2009
64 years ago today the crew of the B-29 Superfortress bomber Enola Gay dropped an atomic bomb, code-named "Little Boy," onto Hiroshima, Japan. This action has come to stand for the horror of war and the deliberate killing of civilians (of which this was not an isolated instance, but it was a new way to do it) and continues to cast a long shadow over the entire world, telling every man, woman, and child: You are not safe. You can be killed at any time, without warning, without reason. This has always been true, but Hiroshima brought it home to the most comfortable, the most secure, the most secluded. Death is at your elbow. Live your life now, in this moment.
Wikipedia offers the following stark numbers: 80,000 people were killed instantly, and perhaps as many 140,000 were killed in all, to say nothing of the lingering effects of radiation sickness on the survivors. More than 69 percent of the buildings in the city were completely destroyed.
What lesson will the world learn from Hiroshima today? What about you?
All those still suffering from radiation poisoning and its associated illnesses, all those affected by war and violence, may they be happy, may they find peace, may they be free.
[Image: damian 78. This is the so-called atomic dome, the structure closest to Ground Zero to remain standing, and left as a reminder of the events of August 6th, 1945.]