In Hiroshima, I had not had the courage to go inside the bomb museum. I had offered an invented excuse–not enough time–and left the city without attending the exhibition. I did not want to see the tragedy of atomic horror. Yesterday, in Nagasaki, I did not have any avenue of escape. I fought down my aversion and went to see the pictures of the raw wounds and mutilated bodies of the Hibakusha – the survivors. It was appalling beyond even my expectations.
Today, August 9, I participated in a memorial service for the victims. I could not maintain my philoshophical detachment when, near a monument inscribed with the names of the deceased, water was offered to the dead. It was explained to me that the worst part of their ordeal was not the pain of lacerated flesh, but the deathly thirst, increasing moment to moment, day after day, made unquenchable by radiation in the water supply.
I thought about how good it was to drink ice water in this heat. On the day of the Nagasaki bomb, August 9, 1945 at exactly 11:02 a.m., it must have been just as hot as today–38°C.
I had been avoiding the details of these horrible memories; however, I am forced to face these images to understand and fully feel the shouts and cries I have heard these past days: Hiroshima nevermore! Nagasaki nevermore! Hibakusha nevermore!
We must eliminate nuclear weapons from this planet absolutely and forever!
**The truth about the atomic horror**
“Being a city attacked with nuclear weapons, Nagasaki has the responsibility of showing the world the truth about the horror of atomic bombs and to continue campaigning for the abolition of these weapons,” said Takashi Yoshihara, Chairman of the Nagasaki City Council, during the August 9 opening ceremony.
The Mayor of Nagasaki hosted the Nagasaki event, which was as well attended as the one in Hiroshima only three days earlier. Mayor Taue addressed the leaders of all countries either currently possessing or reportedly developing nuclear weapons: the United States, Russia, China, France, the United Kingdom, Iran, Pakistan, India, Israel and North Korea.
“Visit the atomic bomb museum and stop in front of the images of nuclear devastation in which the bones of numerous victims were forever buried. On August 9, 1945 at 11:02 am, Nagasaki was devastated by intense radiation, its temperature increased by several degrees centigrade with horrible deadly winds. Devastating flames transformed the city into a silent ruin,” said Taue in his commemoration speech.
Almost all speeches from Japanese notables, as well as other personalities, such as UN General Assembly President Miguel D’Escoto, made mention of the hopes raised by recent statements by President Obama in favor of nuclear disarmament.
**More pictures of Nagasaki**:
**Pressenza editor, Alexandre Sammogini was invited by the Hiroshima City Council to pay homage to the victims of the atomic bomb. On August 5, the journalist officially launched Pressenza Press Agency from Hiroshima with the symbolic lighting of a torch for the World March for Peace and Nonviolence from the city’s Eternal Flame memorial.** –
*(Translation/Edition: Isabel Torres-Carrilho/Randy Renegar)*