August 6th marked the 60th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima by the U.S. which coupled with a second bombing three days later in Nagasaki, brought about the end of WWII.
The mainstream press here and abroad have largely reported on this anniversary by focusing on the death and devastation the bomb brought to Japan while disputing somewhat the notion that this was necessary to convince Japan to surrender.
In a build up to the anniversary Newsweek magazine ran an essay in the My Turn section from Danielle Woerner who wrote about how her father and his work on the bomb. Her father, Charles had a very small role in the development of the bomb, but the story recounts the guilt that he felt in his later years for helping to create such a weapon. The rest if the article focuses on the daughter’s peace activism with a group called Voices for Peace.
This all makes for a very touching tale but it is very lopsided in its viewpoints.
Yes, hundreds of thousands of Japanese citizens died as a result of the A-bombs that we dropped on just two cities. Yet as The Wall Street Journal pointed out yesterday and untold number of lives were spared on both sides as the war ended a few days after the Nagasaki bombing.
The media has searched far and wide for survivors who thought the U.S. could have found another way to end the war. I wish they had tried to contact my mother and ask her thoughts. She is now almost 86 years old and she was living in Nagasaki at the time of the bombing. For as long as I can remember she has always been grateful for what happened because it brought such a swift end to the war. Up unto that time there was so little food to go around that they were on meager rations and many people even resorted to eating dandelions to add to their food supply. I asked my mother how she managed to survive the bombing and she said that she just happened to be helping other women complete a bomb shelter and when they saw the flash of light and heard the sound they all climbed inside. She also said the mountainous terrain of Nagasaki prevented more deaths as the bombs initial effects didn’t reach over the mountain where she was.
As Paul Harvey would say and now you know the rest of the story.