Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Hiroshima


Today is the 68th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima.

August 6 - Sixty-eight years ago on August 6th, the U.S. unleashed the atomic bomb over the city of Hiroshima. Hundreds of thousands of people died from the blast itself and radiation sickness over the next years.

This is also the Christian feast day of the Transfiguration of Christ - when our Lord appeared in His divine glory before the Apostles Peter, James, and John. His face shone like the sun, and His garments became glistening white.


Points for meditation to be scratched on the walls of a cave. 
Poet-monk, Thomas Merton, wrote a poem, “Original Child Bomb,” the title being an exact translation of the Japanese word for the bomb that dropped on Hiroshima onAugust 6, 1945. 
The poem is a short history written in numbered, laconic sentences about the development and first use of nuclear weapons, despite the appeal of some of the bomb’s makers that it not be used without prior warning. Nonetheless, the bomb was dropped on a city considered of minor military importance. 
“The people who were near the center became nothing. The whole city was blown to bits and the ruins caught fire instantly everywhere, burning briskly. 70,000 people were killed right away or died within a few hours. Those who did not die at once suffered great pain. Few of them were soldiers.” 
Merton noted the odd way that religious terms had been used by those associated with the bomb. Its first test was called Trinity. The mission to drop the Hiroshima bomb returned to Papacy, the code name for Tinian.

"The bombing of Hiroshima and the Feast of the Transfiguration"

The bomb

Original Child Bomb, poem by Thomas Merton


2 comments:

  1. The cruel irony that this feast of transfiguring light was chosen to deliver its gruesome doppelgänger..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. doppelgänger is the right word for this. Almost matching in intensity and brightness, but opposite. I still can't quite grasp what happened at Hiroshima and Nagasaki - and how much we are in denial about it.

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