Wednesday, August 6, 2014

My Morning In Hiroshima On A-Bomb Day, August 6th, 1987

The United States Army Air Force exploded - - for maximum destructive effect - - an atomic bomb over the city of Hiroshima, Japan at 8:15 a.m. on this date, August 6th, in 1945.

The air burst set the city on fire, killed immediately 140,000 people, and wounded many thousands more people.

Forty-two years later, in 1987, I was about halfway through a three-week reporting fellowship for The Milwaukee Journal to Japan and, by coincidence, was in Hiroshima and out for a morning walk on August 6th in a park that hugged a major city street.

At 8:15 a.m., everything and everyone stopped - - buses, trucks, cars, people. Some motorists shut off their engines. Bicyclists got off their bikes. Pedestrians stood still. I heard no car horns, children's chatter, music, nothing.

I stood on a footpath in the park near along with other people, for how long I'm not sure. A few minutes, probably, though it seemed longer, like ten.

The Japanese are generally polite and non-confrontational, so of course nobody said a word or sent an angry or vindictive sound or gesture my way - - on the spot or later - - though one man made enough eye contact to let me know he knew I was an American.

Or so I thought.

Then one motorist in a silver sedan moved forward, then another. Traffic began to move, and the man in the park and I went our separate ways.

1 comment:

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

For all the Cold War and War on Terra fear-mongering, America is still the only country that has used nuclear weapons in hostilities.