Saturday, August 9, 2014

Remembering Nagasaki and Hiroshima

In 1985, peace activists in many cities participated in the International Shadow Project to mark the 40th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. At the time, I was a member of the Fellowship of Reconciliation as well as the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom. [This year marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of both of those groups.] It was an amazing undertaking ~ and not soon forgotten.

The images here are not FROM the Shadow Project, but are the reason FOR it. The images show 'shadows' caused by the atomic blast. The heat of the bomb hitting a person standing close to stairs or a building left an image because the person's body 'protected' the stone or metal. What shows in the picture is the opposite of a burned in image. The enormous heat of the bomb made it to the wall, the curb, the stairs, etc, and changed the color of it. The body stopped some of the heat and created what appears as a 'shadow.' The person, subjected to that intense of heat, most likely died, but his or her image remained as a reminder of how terrible the explosion was. As the second image shows many other items left images like that as well.

Today, August 9th, marks the 69th anniversary of the bombing of Nagasaki. Few people acknowledge it. Governments continue to posture and talk about using nuclear weapons. Countries are afraid to destroy or limit their nuclear arsenals. What are we missing here? Why is this kind of power so important? What are we offering to and leaving for our children?

Do you remember the history around the dropping of the bombs? How do you feel about nuclear weapons? Do you feel safer? What feelings do these images stir within you?

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