I ordered a copy of “Hiroshima Diary” at the advice given in a text message from my son. “I heard it was really good. You should get it for yourself for your birthday.” What a great gift from my book loving, poor college student son. It was delivered on March 1st – a snow day. Fantastic! I would really have some time to delve in. But, I didn’t. I found that I was really reluctant to crack the binding. I knew this was going to be a tough read. So, I put it off a day. I read the first chapter, the August 6, 1945 diary entry. It has haunted me all day. What horror. The doctor, Michihiko Hachiya, was standing in his garden on a glorious morning when he saw a flash of light in the distance. Then, he noticed he was standing naked in his garden. Throughout the remainder of the diary entry he described the horror that reigned down on Hiroshima, his city. The city was levelled. There were fires that sprang up spontaneously. People had their clothing burnt off their bodies. They experience burns over their entire body.
Over dinner tonight I told my husband of my disbelief that my country could’ve knowingly brought about such horror on people. “Yes”, he said. “And we dropped another bomb three days later on Nagasaki.” How could our country have done such a horrible thing? How could we have done it a second time? Surely they had no idea of the horrors which their actions bestowed. I have a hard time wrapping my mind around that. Did our leaders know their bombs would bring about an apocalypse on the Japanese people? Did they have that much disregard for the Japanese? These questions haunt me because I cannot fathom that my country would knowingly do such a thing. Not just once. But twice.