Chronicles in Ordinary Time 75: The Shadow People

Human Shadows Imprinted by Nuclear ExplosionHuman Shadows Imprinted by Nuclear Explosion

 I had planned on writing something more upbeat for this installment; I don’t like writing about the physical challenges I deal with—there are so many, with so many more…The hope, in writing the last installment, was that it might prove helpful for someone…

Then I was informed of the date: July 16, 2015, the 70th Anniversary of a horrific event.

On July 16, 1945, scientists in Los Alamos successfully exploded the first atomic bomb at the Trinity test site, located in nearby Alamogordo, New Mexico. The atomic age began; and the words were uttered by Robert Oppenheimer: “I have become death, the destroyer of worlds”. On August 6 and August 9—next month—the 70th Anniversary of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki will occur. The above images are from these cities; the shadows left on structures after their owners were vaporized by the atomic blast.

 Atomic_bombing_of_JapanAtomic cloud over Nagasaki from Koyagi-jima

 Wednesday afternoon I opened my email to find that people are suggesting that we go to war with Iran; for fear that Iran will become a nuclear power, and will provide terrorists with nuclear capability. The insanity of nuclear war must stop.

This subject is particularly meaningful for me, in that it reminds me of one of my ‘failures’ as an illustrator. I was hired [not sure I ever got paid] to illustrate a “Hiroshima Diary” but could not finish the illustrations in the time I was given. Most of the illustrations have never been finished, nor published in any form. The diary is the story of a teacher who entered Hiroshima after the bombing, looking for two children who had been sent to Hiroshima for schooling. As she walked the streets of Hiroshima she saw hundreds of children wandering through the rubble, looking for their parents. The only survivors she found were children. Her diary tells of her encounters with wandering, damaged children; all of whom die in her arms…

Ashes of HiroshimaWe did this.

I don’t care how much discussion occurs over the justification of our actions; we obliterated thousands of women and children. Non-combatants. Perhaps they would have become combatants if we invaded Japan. We didn’t, and they weren’t. We slaughtered:

20 U.S., Dutch, British prisoners of war
90,000–166,000 killed in Hiroshima
39,000–80,000 killed in Nagasaki
Total: 129,000–246,000+ killed

 Champions of Truth, Justice, and the American Way.

It must never happen again.





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