“I was three years old at the time of the bombing. I don’t remember much, but I do recall that my surroundings turned blindingly white, like a million camera flashes going off at once. Then, pitch darkness. I was buried alive under the house, I’ve been told. When my uncle finally found me and pulled my tiny three year old body out from under the debris, I was unconscious. My face was misshapen. He was certain that I was dead..." -- YASUJIRO TANAKA/ LOCATION: NAGASAKI/DISTANCE FROM HYPOCENTER: 3.4 KM, AFTER THE BOMB, https://time.com/after-the-bomb/
Recalling the incidents of 1945 — when two bombs were dropped in the name of peace destroying towns, populations and a way of life of innocents who had nothing to do with the aggressive invasion of the power-hungry, instilling suffering for generations to come, and justifying the whole incident in the name of peace — should have taught humankind lessons that we would never forget. When I read about the incidents, the horror of these make me shudder. Even the sky changed colours. The Earth grew barren as life on it writhed to an untimely halt, some wounded towards a painful end and some dead. Some of our species suffered in the most horrific ways. For some death lingered with pain. For others, life lingered with pain — both emotional and physical. Has that all been forgotten or erased from our minds?
Given the current global atmosphere, we perhaps most need to pray for peace: peace, to alleviate hunger; peace to be with loved ones; peace to have access to resources at a reasonable price so that all of us can afford to live in comfort. And yet the wars rage…
As we move ahead this year, poetry around war has proliferated in our pages, showing why we need peace. Today, in this issue we bring to you writing that looks for peace as well as our older pieces describing the horrors of the atom bomb in Hiroshima.
An interview with nuclear war survivor’s daughter, author Kathleen Burkinshaw, who continues to suffer the aftermath of the Hiroshima blast that only her mother had faced and has written a book, The Last Cherry Blossom, describing the horrors of the war, life before it and after. Click here to read.