Aug. 6, 8:15 a.m. Seventy years ago, Hiroshima turned into hell on earth by a new and terrifying American weapon nicknamed Little Boy. The bomb dropped on Hiroshima, together with another that hit Nagasaki three days later, killed more than 200,000 people, most of them civilians. Today Hiroshima marked the anniversary with a solemn ceremony attended by thousands at the Children's Peace Monument.
We in the US have our Freedom Tower, Hiroshima has the Children's Peace Monument, Nagasaki has the Peace Park. All rose from the ashes of terrible tragedy. All three are monuments to honor the fallen and to show the tenacity of the human spirit. We can rebuild. We will rebuild. We will be stronger coming through the fire.
I was born many years after the end of WWII. With that and the intervening years, I have a tendency to view the events of Hiroshima and the A-bomb with a cold detachment. I accept at face value what I read in textbooks, that the U.S. dropped the bombs to avoid what would have been a bloody ground assault on the Japanese mainland. The bombs shortened the war and saved countless lives on both sides. I accepted that. Then today I went to the CNN website as I routinely do. There I saw haunting crayon pictures drawn by children who survived the devastation at Hiroshima. The pain suddenly became real. It had a face--a child's face.
I saw the drawings and wondered if something unspeakable like that could ever happen again. Even as I type these words, I think of the evil infecting the Middle East, and I realize that yes, it could happen again. In a heartbeat. Without hesitation and without remorse. King Solomon was right when he said there was nothing new under the sun. Human nature hasn’t changed. Evil still exists. Sin is still rampant in the world.
I pray I’m wrong. I pray that humanity progressed and we’ve learned from the carnage and pain of the past. Deep in my gut, though, I sense something else. In closing, I only have one thing to say: Maranatha-- מרנא תא