Monday, June 24, 2002

It Was Horrible

I read the book Hiroshima by John Hersey which I got from Booksale. It's an old 1980 edition of the book and must have gone through numerous printings. It's tells of the story of several survivors of the explosion of the Atomic Bomb over Hiroshima in 1945, what they were doing before and after the disaster. Initially coming out as a series of articles in the New York Times, it eventually came out as a compiled book in 1946.

It's a terribly moving book at first reading, and after you feel anger at the people and circumstances that led to its conclusion. How can a nation kill 100 thousand innocent lives of another nation? It's horrible, unspeakable. Since the book was written a year after the bombing, the author and the survivors as well, have no inkling that their troubles have just begun. Little do they know that they and their offspring will forever be marked by the devastating effects of radiation. Are these bombers no better than terrorists who strap bombs to themselves and kill innocent people for what they believe in?

It is true that the bomb, and the one at Nagasaki was probably what ended the war, but did have to cost the lives of hundreds of thousands of innocent lives? Who's to say that the war would have ended anyway without them? Japan certain was already on the losing side by that time. Her allies Germany and Italy had already fallen, how could it have managed to hang on? I think there's no justification for it. Good guys must always find a way. And good guys are what Americans supposed to have been in WW2 right?

Anyway, I was thinking about the book and the people chronicled in the stories when I was buying lunch today at a local open air fast food place in town. There were really no walls in the joint and one can move freely in and out to the sidewalk and back. Well I was seated right next to the sidewalk with my back to the road. I was thinking what it would be like if such an Atomic Bomb were detonated right on top of San Pablo City. What would happen to this fastfood? To all these people rushing about. Where would I go in case I survive it? Just then, I heard the people in the fast food place screaming at something happening on the road. I turned around to see that a cat had just been run over by a jeep. The cat wasn't killed, but it was writhing horribly, its hind legs crushed. It was trying to scream but no sound was coming out. It was terrible, the pain it must be feeling. Before I could do anything, help it or something, another jeep came rolling right on top of the cat's head. I immediately looked away and closed my eyes, but I can't shut out the screams of the people around me. It was horrible. Really horrible. It really bothers me still right up to this writing. I can't get it out of my mind.