A plea from the Peace Committee
Nuclear weapons are weapons of massive destruction so horrendous that to expose anyone to them is not just immoral; it is demonic.
On Aug. 6, 1945, our country dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan. The bomb killed 66,000-100,000 people. A glimpse into the horrors unleashed by that bomb is found in the book, “Hiroshima Diary,” by Michihiko Hachiya, a doctor who lived and worked in Hiroshima in 1945. Following is a short description of the tremendous heat caused by the blast, and of the horrors it caused.
On Aug. 6, while admiring the early morning light, the doctor was startled by two blinding flashes of light followed by swirling dust that darkened the sky and obscured the destruction of his house around him. He found himself in the next instant miraculously outdoors and naked. He had been severely injured by broken glass and hurtling timbers.
On his way to a nearby hospital, he saw, “shadowy forms of people … like walking ghosts … [or] scarecrows, their arms held out from their bodies with forearms and hands dangling.” He made his way to an emergency first-aid station a bit closer which, on entering, he found was filled with debris.
Later, the building caught fire. Black smoke and flames rose; currents of heat wrenched sheets of the roofing into the air; and pieces of wood turned into swirling fiery birds. The whole building burst into a crackling inferno. The heat was so intense that those who could fled; those who could not, died.
Closer to the blast, the heat had obliterated people’s features so that “[i]t was hard to tell [the] front from [the] back [of their heads.]” Thousands of dead bodies choked the river.
Patients in the hospital to which the doctor was moved were lying in the rooms, the hallways, under the stairway, in the bathrooms and outdoors. They lay in every walking space, which was soon filled with the excrement of those who could not walk. Skin peeled away, exposing wounds to the filth. It was impossible not to step into this sewage.
Unknown to Dr. Hachiya, it had taken one atomic bomb to devastate this city of 340,000 inhabitants. The hydrogen bombs we make now are 100 to 1,000 times more powerful. This immense fire power can have only one purpose: to kill as many people as possible.
We now possess about 3,700 nuclear warheads, and are making more. Congress has recently budgeted $1.6 billion for this fiscal year to Los Alamos National Laboratories in New Mexico for the manufacturing of 30 new bomb triggers (plutonium pits) per year by 2026. More are to be built at Savannah River, SC.
Loretto has a long tradition of speaking out against nuclear weapons. Come join the Peace Committee at a demonstration against nuclear weapons in Los Alamos, NM, on Aug. 6. Start making plans now to be with us.