A view from the inside

The power of a picture: a split second image in the Mr Holmes movie last night and I saw what tens of thousands of men, women and children in Hiroshima and Nagasaki saw — the INSIDE of an atomic fireball.

We in the West have seen thousands of images of nuclear testing, all taken from a safe (or not so safe) distance and comforted ourselves with the doctrine that the 1945 A-bombs shortened the war and saved untold lives.

A Japanese student home-staying with us last year told us this from-the-inside story:

“My grandfather was at school on the outskirts of Hiroshima that day and after the bomb went off, he walked through the ashes of the city and managed to find where his home had been. In the yard near the clothesline he found his mother’s bones. The rest of her had been vapourised by the fireball which she had seen above her a second or so before oblivion.”

It somehow didn’t seem appropriate to trot out the standard Western justification at that point.

Harper Lee gave Atticus these words: “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… until you climb into someone’s skin and walk around in it”. To Kill a Mockingbird, 3.85–87)

http://www.doug-long.com/quotes.htm = those who disagreed with dropping the A-bombs